CaSE has responded to the Prime Minister's speech today, outlining Conservative plans to increase research spending to £18 billion in 2024-25.
Commenting CaSE Director Dr Sarah Main said:
"The Conservatives are building on earlier pledges, making a welcome long-term investment commitment to boost UK science and innovation."
Today's announcement by the Prime Minister is in line with CaSE's projection for reaching the previous Government’s goal of R&D investment of 2.4% of GDP by 2027.
"Questions remain as to the Prime Minister’s intentions on participating in EU research programmes, which bring wide-ranging benefits for example for ease of collaboration.
"With a clear commitment to a long-term rising budget, attention will turn to not how much is committed but how it will be spent. For the UK’s science and engineering strength to serve us best, the next Government must ensure it is supported by not only by funds, but by the people and partnerships that make research happen."
CaSE has projected that public spending would need to reach £18.5bn in 2024/25 to be on track to reach the 2.4% target, so they would be £500m behind our calculations. The pledge made to 'double' to £18bn is not doubling in real terms, only in cash terms and the pledge is even further from doubling once you consider needing to make up for the loss of EU funding implicit in the announcement.
The strength of the UK research base is built upon a diverse range of funding streams available to it. Increased investment is very welcome but will not bring the same range of benefits if funding opportunities are lost, even if the money is there to replace them.
In CaSE's election asks, we have called on all political parties to set out a long-term plan to reach 3% of GDP invested in R&D by the end of the next decade, with planned annual increases for public investment in R&D. The three asks are as follows:
- A long-term plan to reach 3% of GDP invested in R&D by the end of the next decade, with planned annual increases for public investment in R&D
- Make the UK a partner of choice for international collaborations, including with the EU
- An immigration system that works for Science and Engineering
- CaSE has developed a model for public and private R&D investment to reach an intensity of 2.4% of GDP by 2027 and 3% in the long term.
- CaSE has published a new report, 'Building on Scientific Strength; The Next Decade of R&D Investment', on how the Government can stimulate a rise in the UK’s research intensity and meet the goal of investing 2.4% of GDP in R&D by 2027.