The Government has pledged £220 million of tech funding in healthcare and life sciences to “future-proof the economy of post-Brexit Britain”.

Chancellor Philip Hammond told the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham that the money would help allay fears of a talent drain to Europe following the nation’s decision to leave the European Union.

“We must carefully maintain the conditions that have brought this activity to Britain in the first place, including the ability to attract the brightest and best to work here in our high-tech industries,” he said.

“Where we see that there are Government interventions that work, we should make them.

“So today I can announce a further £220m of support for technology innovation.”

£120m of the money will be used to foster links between universities and businesses.

The so-called ‘tech transfer’ schemes allow academics to oversee the launch of commercial spin-off products based on their research.

And £100m will support the Medical Research Council and Innovate UK’s joint Biomedical Catalyst initiative for another four years.

Since BMC launched in April 2012, the scheme has awarded more than £250m in funding, matched by £150m of private finance, to over 300 projects seeking to develop a wide range of therapies, diagnostics and devices on the back of healthcare research.

One example was a non-invasive, fingerprint-based drug-detecting device which accident and emergency staff could use.

Meanwhile 19 local authorities will be involved in a Government pilot scheme for its new identity assurance service.