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IOP response to Autumn Statement

17 November 2022

Chancellor sends right signal on science backing but government must recommit to longer-term R&D investment and address shortage of physics teachers.

Responding to the chancellor’s fiscal statement, Institute of Physics Group Chief Executive Tom Grinyer said: “Increasing research and development (R&D) investment to £20bn by 2024/25 is the right thing to do and the chancellor appears to have sent a clear signal he backs British science and innovation to drive growth.

“Physics innovators stand ready to play their part in harnessing the benefits of the new industrial era, but they need certainty to turbocharge innovation, and the government must now recommit to its longer-term R&D target of £22bn by 2026/27.

“The chancellor is also right to focus on education and skills as the foundation for our success, and we’re ready to work with the government on this agenda.

“But any solution must also address the desperate shortage of physics teachers – who will be crucial in building the scientifically trained, innovative and diverse workforce which can deliver his growth agenda.

“It is therefore disappointing that the increase in schools funding appears to represent a real-terms cut.”