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Topics and policy

Industry and innovation

The UK has an outstanding track record of industry innovation. World-class industrial research plays an important role in and is essential for transforming innovative ideas into commercially successful products and services. Innovative economies see greater growth and productivity, while companies that innovate grow twice as fast as those which do not.

The increasing importance of the knowledge-driven economy means that the flow of ideas and skills between the research base, industry, business and the wider community is crucial to future prosperity. The complexity of many existing social and economic challenges makes collaboration essential to research and innovation.

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  • Building a stronger future: Research, innovation and growth

    The UK National Academies set out key priorities and actions for the next Government to make the UK the location of choice for world class research, development and innovation.

    Download the statement

  • Machine learning

    A new Royal Society project on machine learning to stimulate debate involving policy makers, industry and the wider publics.

    Find out more

  • Transforming our future conference series

    The Royal Society is running a new series of unique, high-level conferences to address the major scientific and technical challenges of the next decade.

    Find out more

  • Inspiring Innovations and Success Stories

    A collection of profiles showcasing how the translation of scientific breakthroughs into commercial success has been achieved in the UK.

    Explore the case studies

  • Reforms to the UK’s higher education, research and innovation system

    We are working closely with the Fellowship and the broader research and innovation community to engage with the Higher Education and Research Bill.

    What is the Society doing?

  • Royal Society launches innovation and translation awards

    Two new grants schemes aimed at supporting entrepreneurial researchers to take their next steps from the lab along the path to commercialisation.

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  • Access to finance

    Consultation response to the Business Innovation and Skills Committee inquiry on Access to Finance.

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  • UK research and the EU

    The Society is gathering evidence about the influence of the UK’s relationship with the EU on research.

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  • Royal Society Enterprise Fund

    The objective of the Royal Society Enterprise Fund is to become a financially successful contributor to early-stage company support and a role model for the translation of excellent science for commercial and social benefit.

    Find out more

Also of interest

In Verba blog

Related events

Related events

Fellows working in this area

Dame Sue Ion

Dame Sue spent 27 years with BNFL rising to the position of Chief Technology Officer, after which she assumed a number of mainly voluntary roles in Science and Engineering, including Chairman of the UK Nuclear Innovation Research Advisory Board (NIRAB) and the only non US member of the US Department of Energy’s Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee.

Professor Sir Martin Sweeting

Sir Martin is an aerospace engineer whose pioneering approach to microsatellite design has helped small and inexpensive satellites perform sophisticated space missions. 

In 1985 he founded Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd — the world’s first small satellite technology firm, which fundamentally changed the economics of space exploration.