Submission to HM Treasury's 2021 Spending Review

15 September 2021

Ahead of the 2021 Budget and Spending Review, HM Treasury has invited written representations in order to inform the spending review, which is carried out approximately every three years to allocate funding to departments. At Spending Review 2021, the government will consider its priorities across all spending over multiple years.

The Society has written to the Treasury to highlight the enormous potential which UK science, research and innovation have to generate new knowledge, technologies and jobs, with a high rate of return on investment. Our submission calls on the Government to set out a long-term vision for science to match the Government’s ambitions in the Plan for Growth and Integrated Review, which focusses on using research and innovation to improve lives, drive growth and level-up, support more people to become researchers and innovators in the UK, and shape the UK’s future as a responsible and visionary science and tech superpower, advancing the Global Britain agenda.

More specifically, in the short- to medium-term context of the Spending Review, that requires:

  • Clarity on the Government’s R&D spending profile up to and beyond the £22 billion it has already committed by 2024/25.
  • Strong foundations for R&D across the UK to create the capacity for reaching the 2.4% R&D investment target and beyond.
  • The capability and credibility to become a science and tech superpower through ambitious investment in international collaborations and assuming global leadership on key scientific challenges.