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Government commitments underline support for research and innovation

27/01/2020

Government commitments underline support for research and innovation

A new Global Talent Visa, increased investment in mathematical sciences and commitments to strengthen and simplify the research and innovation funding system have been announced by the Prime Minister.

A new fast-track visa scheme to attract the world’s top scientists, researchers and mathematicians will open on 20 February. The bespoke Global Talent route will have no cap on the number of people able to come to the UK, demonstrating the Government’s commitment to supporting top talent.

It replaces the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) route and UK Research and Innovation will endorse applicants from the scientific and research community.

Also announced by the Prime Minister was a significant boost to the UK’s world-leading mathematical sciences community, increasing support for this key discipline and expanding the pool of trained mathematicians.

Up to £300 million of additional funding will more than double the current funding for the mathematical sciences delivered by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, said: “The UK has a proud history of scientific discovery, but to lead the field and face challenges of the future we need to continue to invest in talent and cutting-edge research.

“That is why as we leave the EU and level up skills and opportunity across the country I want to send a message that the UK is open and stands ready to support the brightest minds to turn their ideas into reality.”

UK Research and Innovation Chief Executive, Professor Sir Mark Walport said: "Today's announcements further underline the importance of research and innovation to the future success of the UK and the government's continued commitment and investment.

"Working with the government, UK Research and Innovation is ensuring that the UK remains globally leading in these fields.

"Our ambition is clear: to create a stronger research and innovation environment that is focussed on supporting talented people and realising the full potential of their work.

He added: "The new Global Talent Visa, including extensions to the existing fast-track process, will be welcomed across the community and will provide further support to our universities and institutions in their international ambition."

In line with the commitment to reduce administration for researchers and innovators, UKRI has also announced that applicants to UKRI will no longer be required to provide a ‘Pathways to Impact’ plan or complete an ‘Impact Summary’ within grant applications from 1 March 2020.

The impact agenda remains incredibly important and UKRI exists to fund the researchers who generate the knowledge that society needs, and the innovators who can turn this knowledge into public benefit.

Pathways to Impact has been in place for over a decade and we recognise the research and innovation landscape has changed since its implementation and impact is now a core consideration throughout the grant application process.

The move supports UKRI’s ambition to create a stronger research and innovation environment that is focussed on supporting talented people and realising the full potential of their work.

Professor Walport added: "Throughout 2020, UKRI will be strengthening our strategy, our operations and the systems we use.  We have made it a priority to ensure these systems and processes free up researchers and innovators to focus on their work, whilst at the same time supporting us to make the best funding decisions. In doing this, we will be driven by the expertise across our communities”.


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