18 October 2018

Read our summary of a recent high-level CaSE member meeting on R&D investment with UKRI Chair, Sir John Kingman

CaSE held a member meeting on Wednesday 10th October that was kindly hosted by the University of Westminster. The event was attended by delegates from 49 member organisations across academia, charity, industry and professional bodies. It provided an opportunity for CaSE to share our work around research and innovation and our emerging priorities looking ahead to next year’s Spending Review. It also enabled CaSE to hear directly from our members on their priorities and concerns ahead of the Spending Review which is vital in shaping our work.

CaSE Director, Sarah Main, spoke about the importance of the upcoming Spending Review. The Government has consistently committed to reach a level of investment in R&D of 2.4% of GDP by 2027 which would require transformative levels of both public and private investment. The Spending Review will need to cement this commitment in spending and policy plans for the years ahead. 


CaSE Executive Director Dr Sarah Main

UKRI Chair, Sir John Kingman, then spoke on the role of UKRI in helping to reach the Government’s target to increase spending on R&D to 2.4% of GDP by 2027. Set against the backdrop of Brexit and the upcoming Spending Review, Sir John spoke of UKRI not only acting as a funder but also as an advocate for issues that impact on research and innovation across Government. He also spoke of the need to grow the research workforce and the importance of direct and indirect financial support for research and innovation in the UK. This was followed by a time of Q&A with members on issues ranging from the role of charity funding in the R&D funding landscape, the squeeze on curiosity driven research, support for interdisciplinary research in the new UKRI landscape, how the NHS plan and the 2.4% roadmap speak to each other, speaking to young people about R&I, and on research culture.


UKRI Chair Sir John Kingman addressing the room

There was then an opportunity for discussion on tables, reflecting on Sir John's contribution and sharing how each organisation is planning to engage with the Spending Review.

CaSE Deputy Director, Naomi Weir, then presented our work on R&D investment and the emerging recommendations for the Spending Review so that they could be tested out with members. To date our work has involved extensive engagement with members, through discussion events and one-to-one interviews. For instance, earlier this year, CaSE brought members together with officials from BEIS and HM Treasury at roundtables exploring this subject. This meeting also provided an opporutnity to share the modelling work CaSE has done to set out a trajectory for R&D investment to reach the Government's target. This is now published on our website.


CaSE member breakout groups


The room then turned to discussions on tables focusing on key priorities for organisations in the room in light of all that had been discussed and to test out CaSE’s emerging asks to inform our ongoing work. The content from the discussions was captured and will feed in to the development of CaSE’s priorities and positions for the Spending Review.

To read more about how to influence a Spending Review, read a guest blog from CaSE board member and former BIS Director responsible for research funding and policy, Jeremy Clayton.

A full summary of the discussion has been sent to CaSE members. If you would like to receive a copy, please contact anna@sciencecampaign.org.uk

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