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Government announces £195m investment in science and computing, £150m to expand mobile coverage

The government has announced £195m investment in science and computing, including high-performance computing and research.

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The government has announced £195m investment in science and computing, including high-performance computing (HPC) and research.

A total of £145m will be invested in HPC and its associated e-infrastructure, while £50m will be invested in a research hub for carbon atom-based material graphene, which has been developed at Manchester University. Graphene is the thinnest and strongest known material, and also conducts electricity better than any other.

According to national news reports, chancellor George Osborne said in the Conservative Party conference statement that the investment will make the UK a world leader in supercomputing: "Improving computing infrastructure is vital to driving growth and giving businesses confidence to invest in the UK."

Osborne said a recent independent report showed investment in computer hardware will increase UK GDP by 3% or more within 10 years.

"In today's figures this translates into some £25bn a year and over 500,000 UK-based, high-added-value jobs," he said.

The government also announced £150m investment in improving mobile phone networks. Working with regulatory body Ofcom, the government will extend mobile coverage to 99% of the country by procuring additional mobile masts. The UK currently has 95% coverage. Procurement of new masts will begin next year.

Ofcom will delay the auction of its 4G spectrum due to a number of technical and competition issues around the sale.

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