The Chancellor has today taken a positive step forward in prioritising the UK research base, says the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB).

Dr Joe Marshall, Chief Executive of the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB), said: “The Chancellor has today taken a positive step forward, committing to spending almost £15 billion on research and development (R&D). He has rightly acknowledged that R&D is paramount in the nation’s recovery from Covid-19.

“Whilst almost all announcements made today offered funding for one year only, the Chancellor sent an important signal of the importance of steady, long-term funding for research. He made a multiyear commitment for an uplift of more than £400 million on average for UK Research and Innovation per year for the next three years. Further investment in UK research will allow us to build a more resilient, productive and innovative economy. Indeed, news of the vaccine in the last few weeks alone demonstrate the social and economic value of R&D, and we are pleased the Government have realised this. For every £1 spent in R&D, £7 is made in economic and social benefits from helping to attract investment, boosting productivity and creating new jobs. The power of investing in UK research simply cannot be underestimated, but equally the Government must also support investment in research development and innovation.”

“The Government have put their money where their mouth is and seem understand that if they are to realise their own ambition for the UK to be a ‘science superpower’ we need this continuous investment in research. Experience from the 2008 recession shows that nations that invest in R&D and innovation are able to boost productivity, improve livelihoods, and drive forward economic recovery. The Government have however previously committed to spending £22 billion on R&D in 2024/25 and it is imperative for the nation’s future, that they do not lose sight of this promise.”