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IOP welcomes new Innovation and People and Culture strategies

22 July 2021

IOP Chief Executive Officer, Professor Paul Hardaker, comments on the publication of the government's Innovation Strategy and Research and Development (R&D) People and Culture Strategy.

Institute of Physics (IOP) Chief Executive Officer, Professor Paul Hardaker, comments: “The IOP welcomes today’s publication of the government’s Innovation Strategy and Research and Development (R&D) People and Culture Strategy, and their recognition of the vital contribution of people and businesses to cementing the UK’s status as a science superpower and building a sustainable recovery after the pandemic.

“We particularly welcome the People and Culture Strategy’s emphasis on attracting a more diverse range of people into research careers and creating a more inclusive environment in which everyone can thrive. It is vital that our R&D community better reflects the diversity of our society and offers all people, no matter their background or where they live, those opportunities afforded by world-class STEM education and training. Not only must we ensure that individuals can thrive in a supportive educational and working environment, we must invest in critical skills and close the growing STEM skills gap.

“Making the physics community more representative of society is one of the core goals of the IOP, and we know that a more thriving, more diverse physics community will make an even greater contribution to our economy and solving the global challenges we face as a society.

“We also welcome the steps the government is taking to drive increased private investment in R&D, which will be essential to delivering the 2.4% R&D target. We are pleased to see a focus on transformational missions and technologies including recognition of key enabling technologies to which physics makes a great contribution.

“To make sure the UK is able to realise the full societal and economic benefits of the new industrial era, our STEM community must be world-leading. That means strengthening our research and innovation ecosystem and building more productive ties between universities, research institutes, businesses and government. We hope to see the government’s recognition of the importance of research and innovation to the UK’s future health, wealth and prosperity further reflected in the outcome of the Spending Review later this year.”