In the R&D world it was encouraging to hear significant emphasis made on the need for investment in R&D in the recent Queen’s Speech, setting the scene for the new decade.

‘To support business, my government will increase tax credits for research and development, establish a National Skills Fund, and bring forward changes to business rates.’

  • ‘Our world-leading excellence in science is the foundation on which we can build the UK’s future prosperity and productivity, and tackle some of the greatest challenges facing society – such as ending the UK’s contribution to climate change, managing the adoption and use of artificial intelligence, transforming our transport systems, and embracing the changes associated with an ageing population.
  • The R&D funding plans the Government will unveil will help accelerate our ambition to reach 2.4 per cent of GDP spent on R&D by 2027. This boost in funding will allow the UK to invest strategically in cutting-edge science, while encouraging the world’s most innovative businesses to invest in the UK.
  • Under our new funding plans the Government will prioritise investment in industries of the future where the UK can take a commanding lead – such as life sciences, clean energy, space, design, computing, robotics and artificial intelligence. The Government will drive forward development of these technologies by investing in hubs around world-leading universities.
  • Some of this new R&D spending will go towards a new approach to funding emerging fields of research and technology. It will provide long term funding to support visionary high-risk, high-pay off scientific, engineering, and technology ideas, and will complement the UK’s existing world class research system.
  • The Government will increase the tax credit rate to 13 per cent and review what R&D-related costs qualify for tax credits, so that important investments in cloud computing and data, which boost productivity and innovation, are also incentivised.
  • Removing unnecessary bureaucracy in the science funding system will help ensure all UK investments have the greatest possible impact by cutting the time wasted by scientists filling out forms.

Key facts

  • The Government is already increasing public spending on R&D by £7 billion over 5 years – the biggest increase in public funding of R&D on record.
  • Every £1 of public expenditure on R&D returns around £7 in broader economic benefits.
  • R&D is vital to a productive economy – firms that invest in R&D have around 13 per cent higher productivity than those firms that do not invest.

…….. This new immigration scheme will support our world-leading research by ensuring that UK teams can recruit the best skills and talent from abroad. We will continue to collaborate internationally and with the EU on scientific research, including with the EU through Horizon.’