Fuelling prosperity: Research and innovation as drivers of UK growth and competitiveness

22 April 2013

Groundbreaking advances in research are harnessed to transform society, revitalise the economy and improve our health and wellbeing. They also enable us to tackle major national and international challenges such as food security and building a green economy. The UK is a world leader in research, with expertise across the spectrum of intellectual endeavour so is well placed to exploit the fruits of knowledge and creativity.

But our research strength must not be taken for granted. Our international competitors also recognise the opportunities presented by research and innovation, and are increasing their investment. In response to the Chancellor’s promise to do more to back great science in the UK, the Presidents of the four UK National Academies call on Government to enhance its support for research and innovation with a long-term vision for the UK’s knowledge economy. We recommend that Government:

  • Builds a stable ten year investment framework for research, innovation and skills. This should sit at the heart of its emerging industrial strategy and plans for growth.
  • Commits to increased investment in research and innovation to keep pace with other leading scientific nations.
  • Secures the ringfencing of the science budget and continues to increase investment in research capital.
  • Ensures that research continues to be at the heart of evidence based policy making across Whitehall.
  • Creates a world class research and innovation environment that is attractive to talent, collaboration and investment from industry and from overseas.

The Academy of Medical Sciences, the British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society are working together to highlight the value of research and innovation to the UK, and to support researchers, industry and policymakers to make the UK the location of choice for world class research, development and innovation. We are working with our research communities to maximise the value of research funding and to support the translation of knowledge into benefits for individuals and society at large. We look forward to working with policymakers, industry and broader society to create the conditions that will secure the UK as the best place in the world to explore, discover and innovate.