The National Academies have recognised the need to better understand the benefits that Research and Innovation bring to the UK, the distribution of those benefits across the country and its population, and how best to measure these. Rather than simply refining the case for more investment, we want to understand the benefits of this investment in order to spend smarter. To that end, the Academies have assembled a Steering Group of experts, chaired by Lord David Willetts, to oversee research commissions to create new and compelling evidence to support future investment.
Two evidence syntheses, to be completed in 2018, on measuring the benefits of research and innovation and the conditions needed to translate research and drive innovation are the first step in developing an evidence base to better describe the conditions needed to ensure the continued excellence of the UK’s outstanding research and innovation base and its delivery of benefits, broadly understood, to the UK’s people. It should, in part, provide a mapping exercise to help understand what gaps there are to fill. This will help the Academies to understand what further evidence is needed to make a ‘fresh case for investment in research and innovation’ and provide advice to Government to inform major spending decisions.