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More funding for science in the UK

The British government has announced plans to create a new funding agency in the country, known as the Advanced Research and Invention Agency (ARIA). The idea is that it will act independently of the government, funding cutting-edge research with the potential for innovative discoveries that result in new technologies, products, and services. It will operate similarly to the USA’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Created in 1958 with the aim of assuring the country’s technological superiority over the former Soviet Union, DARPA (now ARPA) funded the formation of computer science departments, supported startups with their initial research, contributed to the development of semiconductors, and oversaw the early stages of the internet, helping to establish the computer industry in the 1960s and 1970s. ARIA’s initial budget will be £800 million (R$6.1 billion), to be distributed over four years. The proposal for the new agency is still to be submitted by Prime Minister Boris Johnson for consideration by Parliament. If approved, it is expected to begin handing out funds in early 2022.