Intel yesterday announced the launch of a new research institute to promote sustainable connected cities, in collaboration with Imperial College London and University College London. 

The institute will become part of the newly formed Intel Labs Europe UK R&D network, which currently consists of nine research and development centres around the country.

David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, responded to the news this morning with the following statement:

"The UK was the birthplace of the industrial revolution and long has been a global leader in Innovation.

That tradition continues. At 10 Downing Street, in the presence of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, Intel announced the creation of the Intel Collaborative Research Institute for Sustainable Connected Cities and the formation of the Intel Labs Europe UK research network. This network will have 350 R&D employees in 9 different locations in the UK with a plan for opening further labs in the next year.

Tech City in London is a perfect location for this Institute. It is home to many of the world’s leading companies across a broad range of sectors of business, is renowned for being a hub of innovation, and it is a very diverse city. In short, it provides the ideal backdrop for the planned research.

So why has the UK become an attractive place for high tech R&D investment?

Firstly a bold deficit reduction strategy has helped create a stable fiscal backdrop for investment with the UK having the lowest interest rates in Europe.

Secondary education has seen strong focus and support for STEM subjects with an innovative redesign of the school’s curriculum to include more computer science courses.

Encouragingly, against a backdrop of austerity, the Science budget has been protected. And we have universities like Imperial College, UCL and Cambridge which are leaders in cutting edge areas of research such as computing and genetics.

There have also been significant investments in infrastructure with the UK on track to have the fastest broadband in Europe by 2012 bolstered by recent government investments of £150million in rural broadband.

Additionally the investments in e-infrastructure and High Performance Computing announced by the Chancellor last year signal our intent for the UK to seriously compete in the 21st century.

We will continue to deliver the so-called triple helix innovation outcomes, whereby Government, Industry and Academic work together to deliver structural innovation improvements and outcomes which significantly extend beyond the scope of what any one organisation could achieve on its own."