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Five point plan to boost science and engineering

21 Aug 2019

CaSE has today published five actions that the new Prime Minister can take in the first three months of his Premiership to harness the science and engineering potential of the UK. 

These actions include setting out a long-term budget to invest 2.4% of GDP on R&D by 2027, extending the post-study work visa to 2 years to attract global talent, and using diversity data to tackle under-representation in the R&D workforce.

Commenting on the five point plan, CaSE Assistant Director Dr Daniel Rathbone said:  

“The new Prime Minister has a golden opportunity to kick-start his premiership by investing in UK science. This would stimulate the ideas, innovation and investment that will improve people’s quality of life and attract global attention. We have set out five actions the Government can take quickly to show it is committed to transforming the UK’s economy for the future and meeting the ambitious target for the next decade of R&D investment.

The Government needs a compelling vision for a scientifically-enabled economy with a plan and a budget that attracts cross-Government support and global attention. This will give businesses the confidence they need to invest in the UK. This uplift in research intensity will need to be matched by a highly skilled workforce in the UK, so immigration policy must be fully aligned to support this ambition.

Our members continually tell us that Government can do more to reach new overseas R&D businesses and support UK start-ups. We therefore recommend the creation of a single digital shop window, ensuring that innovation support is simply expressed and tuned to business needs. Furthermore Government can ensure an attractive market for innovation and the delivery of direct benefits to the UK public by embedding innovation across all departments.”

The Government has stated its ambition to use research and innovation to transform the UK’s economy and society. To do this it has set a target to increase research and development (R&D) investment in the UK to 2.4% of GDP by 2027 and 3% in the long term. However, this transformation of the UK economy will require ambitious and coordinated Government action, including a significant uplift in public investment in R&D. The five action points which CaSE have published today will set the UK well on the way to reaching this ambitious target by increasing public investment, incentivising private investment and investing in people and skills. 

The five action points are as follows:

  1. Set a long-term plan and a budget to reach 2.4% by 2027
  2. Attract Global Talent: Extend post-study work visa to 2 years
  3. Harness the power of government to deliver the benefits of innovation faster
  4. Promote the UK overseas: Create a digital shop window for the UK innovation offer
  5. Increase the pool of available talent: monitor diversity data

Building on Scientific Strength

Setting a long-term plan and a budget to reach 2.4% by 2027: last month CaSE published a detailed policy report ‘Building on Scientific Strength’ setting out recommendations for Government to help reach the ambition of greater research intensity in the next decade.   

#CaSEforresearch: Alongside this report CaSE are setting out a vision for what increased research intensity can achieve for the UK economy, people’s lives and their health and wellbeing by publishing a series of thought pieces by CaSE members and stakeholders on our website, alongside further analysis from CaSE.

Read our five point plan

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