UK's nationally important research and innovation infrastructure capabilities to be mapped for first time

UK's nationally important research and innovation infrastructure capabilities to be mapped for first time

Work will begin today (22 January 2018) to identify strengths to capitalise on and recognise any gaps in nationally and internationally important research and innovation infrastructure across the UK, Universities and Science Minister Sam Gyimah has announced.

The work will lead to the creation of the first UK National Research and Innovation Infrastructure Roadmap and will be one of the first major pieces of work to be completed by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the new single funding organisation for research and innovation in the UK, which is integral for furthering R&D opportunities through our Industrial Strategy.

The map will include not only large scientific facilities and major equipment, but other resources such as collections, archives or scientific data, e-infrastructures such as data and computing systems, and communication networks, which together are all crucial to maintaining the UK’s reputation as a world-leader in science and innovation.

Universities and Science Minister Sam Gyimah said:

"Boosting research, development and innovation is at the heart of the Industrial Strategy and that is why we are investing an extra £2.3 billion in R&D spending in 2021-22.

"From RRS Discovery to the UK Biobank and the Diamond Light Source to the UK Data Archive, this country is world renowned for its scientific abilities. Now, for the first time, we will map this infrastructure to enable us to showcase our capabilities around the world and identify future opportunities.

"Nothing of this breadth and scale has ever been attempted in the UK before, but having the skills and expertise to carry out this vitally important work is precisely why UK Research and Innovation was created."

In another UK first, the map will include nationally important innovation infrastructure and will be used by UKRI to raise awareness of the diverse landscape across all regions at home and abroad in order to enhance its efficiency and effectiveness. It will also identify new research and innovation capability needs and opportunities.

Chief Executive designate of UK Research and Innovation, Professor Sir Mark Walport said:

"One of UK Research and Innovation's key tasks is to make sure that the UK's businesses and researchers are ready and able to seize the opportunity presented by the industrial strategy. So I'm very pleased that we are starting the process to map out the UK's nationally and internationally important research and innovation infrastructure. This will enable us to make sure we are getting the absolute best out the infrastructure we already have, and identify what else we will need to stay competitive in the next 10-15 years.

The first edition of the UK national research and innovation infrastructure map will be published in early 2019, following extensive consultation.