Priya Lakhani is the Founder and CEO of CENTURY Tech, which develops artificial intelligence (AI) powered learning tools for schools and colleges around the world.
The British Indian entrepreneur has now been named on a new UK government panel as part of a vision to create the Silicon Valleys of the 21st century in Britain. Lakhani, who was awarded an OBE by the late Queen Elizabeth II in 2014 for her work in the field of technology, is a member of the government’s advisory body called AI Council.
“CENTURY Tech as an AI neuroscience platform where we power teaching and learning from schools, colleges, universities, publishers across the globe; an exciting adventure,” said Lakhani, who along with Matt Clifford, Chair of the new Advanced Research and Invention Agency (ARIA), will now support work to harness new digital technology in the country.
UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said: "I want British firms to lead the world in turning fantastic science into new products and services – and we need to make sure government is doing everything we can to encourage innovation and competition.
“We have already set out how we will back our formidable financial services sector to unlock private investment in new industries, and we will show the same ambition in other high-growth sectors to ensure that future Silicon Valleys are based here in the UK. The countries that secure leadership in new technologies will lead the world, enjoying unparalleled growth, security and prosperity for decades to come – and it is our job to ensure the UK is able to fully reap the rewards.”
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Sir John Bell, who is on Genomics England’s board of directors, and Camilla Fleetcroft, Eclevar UK’s Vice-President of Clinical and Regulatory Affairs, will work on cultivating the life sciences sector and help drive the next generation of discoveries, such as delivering genomics-enabled clinical trials. Jane Toogood, Chief Executive of Catalyst Technologies at Johnson Matthey, will take forward work on building green industries like hydrogen and battery development in the UK.
The industry experts will be led by the UK government’s Chief Scientific Adviser and National Technology Adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, as he reviews existing rules to help develop a pro-innovation regulatory approach that allows the UK to fulfil its ambition to become a science superpower and world leader in key growth sectors such as digital technology and life sciences.
UK Business Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Economic growth and raising productivity is critical if we are to improve the standards of living for all Brits. One of the most sure-fire ways to deliver both is betting big on innovation, which is exactly what we intend to do.
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“Backed by this fierce new team of advisers, Sir Patrick Vallance will lead the charge alongside industry to supercharge growth in some of the world’s most exciting growing technologies, turning the UK’s natural strengths into pillars for long-term growth.”
The aim of the review is to establish the UK as the best regulated economy in the world in key growth sectors, ensuring that industry and investors have the certainty then need to drive innovation, investment and growth through anticipating new developments in emerging technologies.