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Research and innovation

Investing in research and innovation is essential for tackling global-scale challenges from climate, planetary heath and security, to our ability to manage future shocks, from manmade disasters to pandemics. It generates the new knowledge, technologies and jobs that power a successful economy and improve people’s lives and opportunities.

The UK government has committed to increase public investment in research and development (R&D) to £20 billion a year by 2025. This is a chance to maximise the UK’s strengths in science, research and innovation in ways that lead us to a better future.

With global competition for R&D talent and investment rapidly increasing, the UK should go further still in setting an ambitious target to lead the G7 group of nations on R&D intensity, while developing a long-term plan for science that ensures a stable environment for pursuing ground-breaking discoveries and innovations.

The Royal Society is working to create a strong and healthy science system in the UK, built on the ideas and talents of researchers across academia, industry, and other sectors, which can benefit us all.


Find out more about research and innovation in your area, where it takes place and how it is supported.

Explore the maps

All data shown in the interactive maps are available to download.

Our work

  • Research and innovation in your area

    Download factsheets summarising research and innovation activity in your area.

    Read the factsheets
  • Investing in UK research and development

    A factsheet explaining why a 3% of GDP target for UK R&D is important for the UK, where we are now and factors that should be considered to deliver it. 

    Read the factsheet
  • The role of the EU in international research collaboration and researcher mobility

    Brexit and UK science

    Find out more about the Society’s work to achieve the best outcome for research and innovation through the Brexit negotiations.

    Find out more
  • Research culture

    Research culture encompasses the behaviours, values, expectations, attitudes and norms of our research communities. Find out more about the Society's work here. 

    Research culture
  • A fresh case for investment in UK research and innovation

    A joint National Academies project to better understand the benefits that research and innovation bring to the UK. 

    Read more

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