The Chancellor should be commended for investing in both research and innovation says the National Centre for Universities and Business, the collective voice of UK business and universities. Today’s announcement will release new funding for research and innovation, which will unlock breakthroughs to improve our health and environment, and boost our economic performance.

Commenting on the spending review, Dr Joe Marshall, Chief Executive of the NCUB, said: “The Chancellor has taken a positive step forward by committing that annual research and development spend (R&D) will hit £20 billion by 2024-2025. We also warmly welcome the news that this funding will be delivered in steady increases and not backloaded towards the end of settlement. This will give those investing in R&D confidence to invest today. The Chancellor has rightly highlighted that R&D is central to the Government’s vision for the UK economy. He has today sent a clear signal to business that the UK is serious about building its research and innovation capacity and capability.”

Marshall continued: “Although clearly a positive step, the real opportunities of this extra funding will come if it helps to drive a step change in private investment too. This requires a better understanding of how to improve connections between fundamental research, and the innovations that will transform the world and drive economic growth. Government, businesses and universities have a real responsibility to consider how this funding is optimised.”

Marshall concluded: “Today’s spending review was the most important in modern times. As we look to recover and grow post Covid-19, the Chancellor has rightly acknowledged that research and innovation is the corner stone of the UK economy. It’s our national strength and is central to our well-being, our economy and our prosperity. Indeed, 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. Research and innovation investment does not just benefit those who receive funding, but society as a whole. The long-term public commitment to invest in our research base will be the nation’s ticket out of the crisis and into a prosperous future.”