Area of investment and support

Area of investment and support: Building a secure and resilient world

Strengthen security and resilience, from individual to national level, across a range of social and economic areas at the heart of daily life.

2023 to 2029
Partners involved:
Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Innovate UK, Medical Research Council (MRC), Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Research England, Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)

The scope and what we're doing

Through our five-year strategy Transforming Tomorrow Together 2022 to 2027, UKRI aims to harness the full power of the UK’s research and innovation system to tackle large-scale, complex challenges.  To do this, we have identified five strategic themes to enable working across disciplines and leveraging new and existing investment and activity.

Building a secure and resilient world is one of the themes.

The aim is to:

  • strengthen social and economic resilience
  • enhance national security across virtual and physical spaces
  • ensure the UK can absorb adversity, deal with change, and respond to emerging threats and opportunities

Potential target areas include:

  • the UK energy supply grid
  • resilient supply chains, including food and critical materials
  • UK response to global risks
  • adaptation to change and robust decision making


Global order in a time of change

Help strengthen UK role in shaping an international order that is secure, resilient and just.

Technologies for resilient security and defence

Advance the capacity of state defence and security, economy and society to reduce vulnerabilities, to respond to and recover from shocks through innovation and technological advancement.

Resilient and secure supply chains

Increase the resilience of supply chains (food, critical materials, manufacturing, complex systems) to a wide variety of potentially interacting shocks.

Behavioural and cultural resilience

Reduce the impact of shocks on individuals and communities through adaptation and embracing change, deployment of resources for personal resilience that is fair and just.

Strengthening resilience in natural and built environment

Mitigate impact of natural and anthropogenic hazards and risks on wider societal processes and operations in rural and urban contexts being responsive to particular requirements of place.​

Why we're doing it

The building a secure and resilient world theme will build on our core research and innovation investments to catalyse, convene and conduct research and innovation. It will do this through:

  • taking a systemic approach that is human-centred, aimed at strengthening societal and economic resilience
  • enhancing security across virtual and physical environments, by:
    • improving awareness of risks and threats, preparedness, informed decision-making and response
    • allowing change to be understood as a force for good

Impacts in the longer term could include:

  • UK is in a leading position in understanding, preparing for and mitigating complex, interacting risks across virtual and physical environments
  • cutting-edge cross disciplinary research and technologies are considered intrinsic to deliver systemic approaches for robust security and resilience
  • fit for purpose tools used by industry, public and third sectors to manage and mitigate sectoral risk
  • new technologies developed and innovations made. A level of commercialisation and usage achieved
  • a more informed and responsive UK population, public and private sector working together to reduce risk

Last updated: 13 December 2023

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