Royal Society response to the launch of the UK Government’s Innovation Strategy and People and Culture Strategy

22 July 2021

Adrian Smith, President of the Royal Society, said, “Innovation will be key to the UK’s success and today’s innovation strategy is welcome. The Government is committed to increasing investment in science to £22 billion a year by 2024/5 and we look forward to seeing more detail in the spending review.  But that is only part of the story in reaching 2.4% of GDP, with private sector and overseas investment also crucial. 

“We face many major challenges such as recovering from the pandemic and tackling climate change. Research and innovation are central to the solutions. The success of treatments and vaccines for COVID-19 have shown the value of decades of investment in UK science. Now we must build on that. Meaningful investment in both research and innovation will also help to transform local economies and support growth right across the UK.  

“To provide businesses with what they need to deliver, we must ensure long-term, stable funding to deliver the ideas that can be developed. We also need to ensure that the UK trains, retains and attracts the best talent and provides those people with the best environment to thrive.  Today’s strategy is a good starting point, and we look forward to seeing it delivered in the coming years.  We will be looking to, among other things, the spending review, changes to immigration rules and the ways we develop our own home-grown scientific talent.

“Today’s people and culture strategy can also play a significant part in helping secure the UK’s position as a global leader in research. As the Minister for Science says, it takes a brilliant and diverse mix of people from all walks of life to build the world-class research and innovation teams we have in the UK. We have to work hard to achieve that, and we can do better. The strategy can help drive that change.”