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UKRI will ensure everyone in society benefits from world-leading research and innovation

UKRI will ensure everyone in society benefits from world-leading research and innovation

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has set out its plans to strengthen the UK’s world-leading knowledge economy and deliver impact across society.

The UKRI Strategic Prospectus, launched today (May 14), will create a research and innovation system that is fit for the future and equipped to tackle the environmental, social and economic challenges of the 21st Century.

The prospectus is the start of the process and over the next 12 months UKRI and its councils will continue to engage with their communities, the wider public, and undertake research, to further develop individual strategic delivery plans. 

This will ensure UKRI responds to important opportunities, fosters excellence and collaboration on the global stage, and draws on the inspiration and insight of our most talented researchers and innovators.

The Government has put research and innovation at the heart of its modern Industrial Strategy, committed additional funding of £7bn by 2021/22 and set out an ambition to increase total R&D expenditure to 2.4% of GDP by 2027. 

Business Secretary Greg Clark said: “We want the UK to become the most innovative country in the world and with the creation of UKRI we will invest £8bn a year by 2020 to help ensure we achieve our ambitious aim.

“Through our modern Industrial Strategy we are making the largest ever increase in public R&D funding for 40 years - investing an additional £7bn in R&D to 2022.  UKRI will help deliver the benefits of this investment and ensure our world leading scientists and innovators push the boundaries of discovery and through our Industrial Strategy we will drive partnerships between the best minds in science and business to put the UK at the forefront of the industries of the future.”

Science Minister Sam Gyimah said: “From the jet engine to the world wide web, our national talent for innovation has time and time again powered our economy and disrupted the status-quo. In our modern Industrial Strategy we have committed to investing 2.4% of GDP on R&D by 2027 and through this record level of investment, and the role UKRI will play, we will ensure we develop the industries of the tomorrow.”

Operating across the whole of the UK with a combined budget of more than £6 billion, UK Research and Innovation brings together the seven UK Research Councils, Innovate UK and Research England.

UKRI Chief Executive Professor Sir Mark Walport said: “Our Strategic Prospectus has been developed to ensure that everyone in society benefits from the knowledge, innovation, talent and ideas generated from our funding.

“UK Research and Innovation builds on the excellence of our individual councils. We will work collaboratively with researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs to develop the most exciting ideas and innovative technologies and bring these to fruition. Delivering this success will take commitment, a collective effort and new, ambitious ways of working.”

UKRI will work with its partners to push the frontiers of human knowledge, deliver economic prosperity, and create social and cultural impact. It describes four underpinning areas key to delivering this:

  • Leading talent – nurturing the pipeline of current and future talent
  • A trusted and diverse system – driving a culture of equality, diversity and inclusivity and promoting the highest standards of research, collaboration and integrity
  • Global Britain - identifying and supporting the best opportunities for international collaboration
  • Infrastructure -  delivering internationally-competitive infrastructure to ensure we have the best facilities to foster innovation and conduct research

UKRI will work in partnership with government, businesses, universities, and other research organisations to create the best possible environment for research and innovation to flourish.  This includes fostering collaboration with countries and institutions around the world and providing access to internationally competitive facilities and infrastructure.

Over the coming months, UKRI will be conducting research and consultation to further develop its approach to working with others and to answer a series of big questions. These include how to grow the economy across different regions of the UK whilst continuing to expand our existing world-leading excellence; how to reduce the gap in productivity and the best approaches to developing talent across the diverse population of the UK, providing the skills needs of the future.

To read the UK Research and Innovation Strategic Prospectus visit https://www.ukri.org/about-us/strategic-prospectus/