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Business and innovation

IOP responds to comprehensive spending review 2021

27 October 2021

R&D spend essential to improve skills, create opportunity and drive science and innovation, says the Institute of Physics.

Responding today to the chancellor’s comprehensive spending review, in which Rishi Sunak confirmed that he would delay the previous commitment to spend £22bn a year on research and development, Professor Paul Hardaker, IOP group chief executive officer, said: “Investing in science and innovation doesn’t just help the economy and create jobs, it helps train the next generation, develops the skills of the workforce, and allows more people to benefit from the opportunities that this brings.

“Whilst it is encouraging to see the chancellor maintained his commitment of investing £22bn it is disappointing to see this being spread over the longer term. Other countries who are also living with difficult economic conditions are making these investments now because they see the value it will bring.

“We understand there are some tough decisions to make but if the UK wants to remain a science and innovation superpower, fuel the green industrial revolution, and grow a high-skilled and diverse workforce, we need to move faster: now is the time to invest in knowledge, research, innovation and skills.

“If we are not careful this will be a missed opportunity for our science and innovation strategy and our levelling up agenda. By not investing more in our strengths and capabilities, we are failing to unlock our potential, develop the skills and enrich the diversity and talent of the people we will depend on in the future.”

Read the IOP's in-depth analysis of the budget and spending review