Government launches consultation on national Cyber-Physical Infrastructure

The consultation seeks views on the opportunities, challenges and key areas of activity to bring together connected digital and physical technologies to unleash innovation

Today (Wednesday 2 March), the government has launched a consultation on a national Cyber-Physical Infrastructure, an ecosystem of increasingly connected digital and physical systems with the potential to help accelerate innovation and secure the UK’s status as an innovation nation and a science superpower.

Advanced cyber-physical systems that sit across the digital and physical worlds are increasingly part of our everyday lives and economy.

Uses range from autonomous agriculture drones and collaborative robots working with factory operators, to reducing congestion in our urban traffic systems and planning responses to extreme weather events for our critical infrastructure.

This consultation explores the opportunities and challenges presented by the increasingly connected application of these systems, and how ecosystems of this technology could help UK innovators to reduce cost and risk to rapidly prototype, test, develop and implement ideas.

Through this consultation, the government is seeking challenge and insight from stakeholders including industry, academia, institutions and the wider public sector.

Science Minister George Freeman said:

"The UK is emerging from the last few turbulent years with a more resilient and sustainable economic model – putting science, research and innovation at the heart of our post-Brexit vision for Global Britain’s role in the world.

"Increasingly, advanced and connected digital and physical technologies are providing us with new tools to help us better predict and respond to future global challenges; drive UK leadership in science and research; and better commercialise innovations.

"This consultation is a key step to realising these benefits for the UK, and I look forward to receiving guiding challenges and insights from the community."

The consultation has been informed by engagement with over 100 organisations to date supported by Digital Catapult, and builds upon the Robotics Growth Partnership’s recently published independent Vision for Cyber-Physical Infrastructure.

A national capability in Cyber-Physical Infrastructure would build upon and complement several other national strategies including the National Data Strategy, National Cyber Strategy 2022, the AI Strategy, Innovation Strategy and 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution.

The consultation will be open for 10 weeks, closing on 11 May 2022.

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
George Freeman MP