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Blow to UK science ambitions as BEIS “surrender” £1.6billion of R&D funding to Treasury

21 Feb 2023

Today the Government has released its Central Government Supply Estimates 2022-23, in which it is detailed that the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has returned £1.6billion  of funds to the Treasury, which had previously been allocated for Horizon Europe association or domestic alternatives.

Page 300 – Central Government Supply Estimates 2022-23 Supplementary Estimates for the year ending 31 March 2023

Prof Sarah Main, Executive Director, Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE) said:
“The Government has repeatedly stated that R&D budgets would be protected and that the money allocated for association to Horizon Europe would be spent on R&D. The Government’s reversal of this position with today’s withdrawal of £1.6bn for R&D undermines the Prime Minister’s assertions about the importance of science and innovation to the UK’s future and the creation, only this month, of a new department to pursue this agenda. 

“The Government must follow through its ambition for science and innovation with coordinated action and investment across Government, not reversals and false starts. Can the Prime Minister now set out how he plans to mitigate this loss and put science and engineering at the heart of the UK’s future?”