Logistics set to benefit most from Government AI investment

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Logistics organisations are among those benefiting most from government grants to adapt to AI innovation, a new report has revealed.

AI and analytics leader, SAS, analysed the grants awarded to businesses across 12 sectors to identify the industries which have secured the most AI funding, based on the average grant per company, per industry.

A UK government report, published last year, found that there were more than 3,000 AI companies in the country, employing more than 50,000 people and contributing £3.7 billion in Gross Value Added (GVA). 

The national innovation agency, Innovate UK, offered companies within this industry an average grant of more than £500,000 each. 
This comes as the government continues to set out a roadmap for the UK to become a technology superpower by 2030 with a key focus on AI.

The study found that logistics ranked in 11th place nationally, with each business receiving an average of £38,315 of funding, in a sign that the industry is among those most in need of investment in order to innovate. 

SAS’ study revealed agriculture and retail ranked the highest out of the 10 sectors with utilities, logistics and education receiving just around £80,000 and below per company.

Sector
Number of grants awarded
Average grant amount per company, per industry (in £)
Agriculture
53
613,682.15
Retail
9
517,176.44
Manufacturing
85
406,788.69
HR
8
363,729.88
Healthcare
70
265,359.26
Finance
34
175,422.94
Technology
164
172,957.30
Law
10
134,708.30
Media
46
98,021.98
Education
152
80,942.57
Logistics
6
38,315.67
Utilities
71
11,477.63

Prathiba Krishna, AI and Ethics Lead at SAS UK & Ireland, said:
 
“AI and machine learning are transformative technologies – and organisations are using them to develop innovative solutions that could address many of the big challenges we face today. The breadth and diversity of projects that have received funding through Innovate UK are a testament to the potential of data-led technologies, and with the right support and partnerships, we could see many more to come.

“Some companies have large-scale access to private investment opportunities, whether this be their own reserves, venture capitalists, crowdsourcing, or other forms of investment. However, this research highlights the sheer volume of businesses that have opportunities to leverage AI but need further support from government grants to fulfil their potential.

“Funding awarded by Innovate UK is a useful barometer for which sectors are most in need of support to adopt AI. However, analytics technology is becoming increasingly accessible to organisations of all sizes across all sectors, enabling them to realise its potential much sooner.”

Methodology 

SAS looked at data on Innovate UK Funded Projects that were included in the AI, Data Economy and Innovation sectors between 2020-2023, split across 12 categories. 
Filtering each section the data revealed: 

  • Total grant offered to each sector
  • Average grant per company, per sector
  • Total percentage each sector awarded 

Data correct as of January 2024.

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