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Our aim is to present a blueprint for the future so that the UK meets and then exceeds target levels of public and private R&D investment and we transform the physics R&D landscape.

This report and these pages mark the end of the first phase of the IOP's R&D blueprint, which focused on extensive consultation with actors across the research and innovation landscape to identify the barriers faced and opportunities ahead.

The subsequent phases of this multi-year project will see the IOP explore the priority areas for action in further detail and work with the community to develop proposals for the radical reforms needed to build a truly thriving physics R&D system.

Download the full report below, or download the short summary (PDF, 342KB)

Physics: investing in our future

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Monitoring progress 

Alongside this work, the IOP will develop a set of indicators to monitor progress towards a thriving physics R&D system in the UK. These will include but not be limited to: 

  • Total and business expenditure on R&D, and expenditure on discovery R&D, as a proportion of GDP (1.7%, 0.92% and 0.31% in 2019 vs 2.5%, 1.6% and 0.44%55 across all OECD nations) 
  • Percentage of firms in high-physics-intensity industries that are innovation active (53% during 2016-2018 vs 38% of all firms) 
  • Employment and output per worker in physics-based industries (2.7 million FTE and £84,300 per worker in 2019) 
  • Number of people enrolled in physics-related education and training (broken down by type of qualification) beyond age 16.