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Policy and funding

IOP welcomes ‘truly disruptive’ new science research agency

19 February 2021

The move will help the UK to meet its research and development investment target this decade, says the IOP.

The IOP has welcomed plans for the establishment of a new Advanced Research and Invention Agency (ARIA), and believes the move will help the UK to meet its research and development target.

ARIA, announced by the government today, will be an important step towards achieving the 2.4% R&D investment target by 2027 and realising the associated benefits in terms of increased growth, productivity and prosperity.

The IOP welcomes the freedom and autonomy that have been granted to ARIA, which will enable it to pursue truly disruptive, high-risk, high-reward research and maximise the impact of its funding.

A clear mission will be essential to the successful operation of ARIA, whilst it remains agile, flexible and free from bureaucracy.

One of the elements underpinning the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) success in the US is the bringing together of experts from academia, industry and government to solve clearly defined problems.

Tony McBride, director of policy and public affairs at the IOP, said: “As a nation, we must understand where the greatest technological opportunities lie and make strategic decisions about the areas and challenges we want to prioritise and lead the world in.

“It will be essential that investment in ARIA benefits researchers and organisations across the whole of the UK, and we recommend that the agency’s headquarters be based outside of the ‘golden triangle’ [of research universities], both to contribute to local economic growth through the creation of jobs, and to demonstrate the feasibility of other research and innovation organisations being based outside this area.”