Ahead of the Autumn Statement, CaSE Director, Dr Sarah Main calls for a step-change in support for science

Ahead of the Autumn Statement next Wednesday, CaSE has called on the Government to commit to a long-term target for R&D spending to reach 3% of GDP by 2025. CaSE has also published its Autumn Statement briefing, setting out key priorities for strengthening the UK science base.

Update: You can read CaSE's response to the 2016 Autumn Statement here.

CaSE Director, Dr Sarah Main, said:

"This is the moment for the Government to make a step-change in its support for science, engineering and innovation. The Government has, for the last six years, protected and backed science. But investment levels have remained doggedly static. Now is the time to increase investment in R&D: to underpin the new industrial strategy at home and to become an independent global player as we leave the EU.

There is no doubt the Government sees our strong science base as a winning card in the pack. Therefore we urge them to make plain their belief in UK science by committing to a long-term target for public and private R&D spending to reach 3% of GDP by 2025. The great thing is that there is enthusiasm across industry, academia and Government for a joint approach to this challenge. A side-by-side plan between Government and industry could really work. Government needs to make clear its long-term commitment at this Autumn Statement in order to harness the enthusiasm of the moment and send a signal of intent to the watching world that the UK will remain the best place to come to invest in and do world-class, innovative science.

To reap the full rewards of this investment, we need a truly cross-Government approach to ensuring we have the skilled workers, from home and abroad, and a regulatory environment that enables science, engineering and innovation to thrive."

CaSE Autumn Statement priorities

  • Commit publicly to ensuring that the total level of investment in UK science from EU and UK public sources combined will not decrease from the current level following Brexit.
  • Act to mitigate against any reductions in the purchasing power of research budgets due to reductions in the value of the pound.
  • Commit to a long-term target for public and private R&D spending to reach 3% ofGDP by 2025.

Read the full Autumn Statement briefing.

Return to comment