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Science Economy

The UK plans to rely on an infusion of money into scientific sectors to bolster its economy as it exits the European Union in 2019, Nature News reports.

In a new economic strategy document, the UK lays out a plan to increase funding for specific research areas, Nature News says. It notes that the government has already said it would increase research and development spending to 2.4 percent of the gross domestic product by 2027, up from from 1.7 percent in 2015, and that lawmakers have said there would be annual increases in research funding between 2020 and 2022.

The new document identifies four areas, including artificial intelligence and big data, to benefit from a £725 million (USD $960 million) infusion from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund over the next four years, according to Nature News. It adds that the strategy also calls for £45 million to fund PhD students in AI and related fields.

As Nature News notes, the document further includes quality-related research funding for universities to use at their discretion as well as other programs.

However, the University of Sussex's Paul Nightingale tells Nature News these funds will likely come with the expectation that researchers be more commercialization-minded.