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Policy and funding

IOP comment on Balance and Effectiveness of Research and Innovation Spending report

The IOP welcomes the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee’s report on the balance and effectiveness of research and innovation spending and echoes many of its recommendations.

The IOP is a strong and active supporter of the Government’s commitment to invest in science and innovation as key determinants of sustainable economic growth, productivity and prosperity. Increasing UK research and development (R&D) investment to the OECD average of 2.4% of GDP by 2027 is essential if the UK is to seize the technological opportunities offered by the new industrial revolution and would signal to the world that we are open to talent and investors.

As set out in our new strategy, we concur with the Committee’s recommendation that UKRI and BEIS publish comprehensive roadmaps detailing the path to the 2.4% target as soon as possible. A long-term strategy - incorporating public and private investment, and supporting discovery and applied research - will be vital to maintaining the UK’s position as a world leader in science and engineering and ensuring our industries are able to innovate and produce world-leading products and services.

In addition, the IOP welcomes the Committee’s highlighting of the vital role that quality-related (QR) funding plays in the UK’s higher education sector, and shares its recommendation that priority be given to QR funding in future investment decisions to address the real-terms decline in recent years.