Government’s ambitious £22 billion plans to boost innovation in the UK
25/10/2021 / General help and advice / posted by Jane Wood
Increasing investment in research and development (R&D) is a key part of a new government strategy to encourage innovation in the UK.
The UK government pledged to increase public investment in R&D to £22 billion – the highest level yet as part of its new Innovation Strategy, launched by Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng this summer. The plan, which also aims to boost investment from the private sector, acknowledges R&D has a vital part to play in the prosperity of the UK and recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The pandemic has highlighted just how important innovation, science and technology are and shown that the public and private sectors can work with each other to resolve challenges as the Vaccine Taskforce did to develop and produce a Covid-19 vaccine.
New ‘innovation missions’ will be set out by the new National Science and Technology Council. And the government plans to prioritise seven strategic technologies, including genomics, clean technologies, robotics and AI, to build on the nation’s current R&D strengths.
The strategy contains plans in four different areas - unleashing business; people; institutions and places and missions and technologies. It aims to ensure businesses who want to innovate are able to access public and private investment and to create an environment where talented innovators can thrive.
The plans also discuss making sure R&D institutions are serving the needs of businesses and taking steps to give the UK a strategic advantage.
Mr Kwarteng said: “The UK can look back on a proud history of changing the world through innovation. From the industrial revolution to the vaccine development of the past year, the impact on our everyday lives is undeniable.”
He said it was the government’s job to make sure the UK kept pace with the rest of the world when it came to innovation.
He added: “Through this long-term plan, we want to rekindle our country’s flame of innovation and discovery, helping businesses to seize the vast opportunities that innovation can bring. If we get this right, we can build the foundations for the new industries of tomorrow, and ensure British firms are at the front of the pack to turn world-leading science into new products and services that are successful in international markets.”
Initiative to attract new talent from abroad
The UK is planning to introduce new visa routes for highly skilled people working in innovation to try and attract and retain talent from other countries. There will also be £200 million invested in life science companies through the British Business Bank’s Life Sciences Investment Programme.
And five projects have been selected to receive a share of £127 million from the Strength in Places Fund, delivered by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). This includes £22.6 million for the Advanced Machinery and Productivity Initiative to help put British manufacturers at the cutting edge of robotics and other emerging technologies.
The Midlands Industrial Ceramics Group is being given £18.3 million to make ceramics manufacturing more efficient. And £21.3 million will go to the Digital Dairy Value-Chain project to make the dairy industry more sustainable.
In Wales, £22.2 million will be invested in the media.cymru project to research and develop new products and services for international markets. Plus £42.4 million will be given to the Smart Nano NI project in Northern Ireland to aid the development of nano-scale optical components for digital devices.
As a specialist in laboratory relocations, Aport is proud to work with organisations who are playing an important role in the UK’s drive to become more innovative. Many of our clients are in the life sciences sector, which has been indispensable to the national response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Our highly skilled crews move scientific equipment, data, specimens, cold chain materials and cleanrooms to new locations all over the world. To find out more about the services we offer, get in touch with our team on 01257 676006.