Royal Society response to Smith-Reid Review

05 November 2019

“The outward facing and internationally collaborative nature of the UK’s research and innovation sector are key factors in our global success. It is right that we review our place on the world stage but we must make sure we protect the elements that are already working well. Association to Horizon Europe has rightly been identified by the Science Minister as the priority for ensuring we build on our international success.

“Attempting to replace Horizon Europe with domestic funding streams of similar financial value will at best leave us standing still, and likely see us take a step backwards – with a significant dent to relationships with our European neighbours, who have been our fastest growing collaborators in recent years. As the review identified, the benefits association offers cannot be easily replicated. The sooner we end the uncertainty, which is already harming UK science, the better.”

The Smith–Reid review also emphasises the importance of ensuring that we can continue to attract and retain the best talent through an internationally competitive immigration system. The review looks beyond the current situation and its vision for increased investment that will benefit all parts of the UK and a greater degree of agility to capitalise on fast moving and unexpected opportunities is to be welcomed.

“The UK has a competitive edge in research and innovation – that is why we can develop top home grown talent and attract the best people and collaborations from around the world. It is that competitive advantage that will drive our economy, create jobs, and generally improve the lives of people across the UK. It will also allow us to provide leadership on tackling global problems such as clean and sustainable energy, feeding a growing population, tackling the problems of aging societies and using genetic and digital technologies to benefit society. We look forward to seeing how the political parties will respond to this review and what their vision for the UK research and innovation sector is. Now is a time for ambition, built upon the already robust foundations.”

Venki Ramakrishnan, President of the Royal Society

Find out more about the Royal Society's work on Brexit and UK science.