The UK government has announced it will commit £8 million to create 800 new AI scholarships in an effort to increase skills in the AI sector and boost regional research and development.
The commitment is part of a wider £60 million Regional Innovation Fund (RIF), which was launched by Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan.
The RIF, which will be delivered by Research England, will see £48.8 million fund 110 universities across England, and a further £5.8 million for Scotland, £3.4 million for Wales and £2 million for Northern Ireland – relative to the size of each UK nation.
The move is supported by the Cabinet Office and the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, and will be led by Professor Alice Sullivan of University College London.
Eligible students will be offered a range of master’s courses across England which will teach practical AI and data science skills, coding, programming, machine learning, health data science and AI ethics.
The government’s hope is that the scholarships will boost Britain’s ambition to become a world leader in AI safety, supporting local and regional economies and boosting growth and increasing productivity.
Over the last three years, more than 1,800 scholarships have been funded by £18 million of government funding.