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Government matches long-term ambition with concrete investment

20 Nov 2017

CaSE has responded to today’s announcement by the Government of increased R&D investment, towards its aim of spending 2.4 per cent of GDP on R&D by 2027.This announcement by government includes an extra investment of £2.3 billion in 2021/22.

Commenting on the announcement CaSE Executive Director, Dr Sarah Main, said:

“Government have set in train a generational shift in R&D investment. This announcement makes an incremental one year increase to the four year block of R&D investment announced at the last autumn statement. This gives confidence that the Government’s plan is to keep rising public R&D investment on target over the next ten years to reach parity with our international competitors.

The Government’s ambition and delivery is admirable. It is a public duty to ensure this investment is spent well. It is notable that large sums of new investment are being directed to strategic programmes through new and untested modes of funding. It will be important to both monitor their success and to ensure that the UK’s tried and tested research funding mechanisms are also set to grow. After all, the UK needs a thriving research base to provide the stream of ideas that turn the wheel of innovation to create products and services.

To reach Government’s target, the industrial strategy must provide specific and effective mechanisms to attract additional private investment of over £8bn of globally-mobile R&D budgets. To continue to invest here through the uncertainty of Brexit, research-intensive companies are clear that the UK must provide a competitive economy with a healthy research base and immigration and regulation systems that support international R&D.

We look forward to working with Government to ensure the long-term target is met and delivers benefit for the UK and society.”

The Government’s announcement to reach £12.5bn by 2021/22 is in line with the trajectory set out by CaSE at Autumn Statement 2016 to reach public investment in R&D of 0.7% of GDP by 2022/23.