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CaSE submission to S&T Committee inquiry on research and innovation spending inquiry

15 Oct 2018

Read CaSE’s evidence to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee inquiry into the balance and effectiveness of research and innovation spending.

This submission draws on analysis of existing literature and data to set out the current and historical balance in some of the areas of R&D spending raised by the Committee. However, the past balance between different funding streams or types doesn’t necessarily set out a blue print for what future balance should be. Rather, a clear vision of the purpose of increasing the R&D intensity of the UK is necessary to make decisions on the desirable balance of spending and interventions.

Recommendations by CaSE

  • Set out the long-term budget for the public portion of investment up to 2027 in line with the ambition for R&D investment to reach 2.4% of GDP.

  • Create a vision for what reaching the 2.4% target will achieve and a roadmap for delivery with Cabinet level buy-in and accountability across Government

  • As part of their delivery plan for 2.4%, Government should set out a transparent, evidence-based plan for total increases in funding at different stages from curiosity driven blue skies research to directed business-led development.

  • To support decisions relating to balance of R&D funding across departments Government should assess optimum R&D budgets in departments in line with Departmental, Industrial Strategy and Government’s wider aims and research needs.

  • Plan and transparently set out the contribution QR will make to the total protecting the unhypothecated nature of mainstream QR.

  • Create a digital ‘shop window’ for UK innovation support to boost effectiveness of research and innovation funding and support.

  • Implement the recommendations from the Connell Review of SBRI commissioned by Government to maximise its potential.

  • Allocate sufficient resource within government to administer R&D tax credits, EIS, SEIS and other incentives so they can be most effective.

  • Review and update definition of eligible activity for R&D tax credit to more effectively capture and incentivize R&D.

  • Following a positive pilot, and subject to evaluation, introduce Innovate UK loans to fill the gap in innovation support alongside continuing grant funding.

  • Carefully monitor success rates of flexible funds in UKRI to ensure there is sufficient funding to not only fund ‘safe bets’ but also take appropriate risk to support and drive research and innovation.

  • Following a positive pilot, and subject to evaluation, increase the scale of the Innovate UK investment accelerator and increase the number of funds involved.

CaSE’s background evidence was also cited in eight other submissions to the Committee’s inquiry.

Download the full submission