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Policy and funding

How to supercharge the drive to make the UK a science and innovation superpower

Our submission to the UK Government’s forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review


Physics makes an important contribution to the UK economy, and is a catalyst for innovation and growth. With the right investment and support, physics research, innovation, knowledge and skills can play an even greater role in making the UK a science and innovation superpower and fuel the green industrial revolution. 

To maintain and advance the UK’s leading position in scientific discovery and innovation, the IOP recommends: 

  1. Accelerating progress towards the 2.4% R&D target.  
  2. Increasing support for physics-based business innovation, building on the technology families in the Innovation Strategy. 
  3. Returning university quality-related research funding to at least 2010 levels, and increasing the proportion of full economic costs recovered on research grants. 
  4. Ringfencing funding for the UK’s continuing association to the EU’s Horizon Europe research and innovation funding programme, maintaining a strong presence in international programmes, and remaining open and attractive to talented overseas researchers and innovators. 
  5. Invest in new international collaboration channels, such as the proposed strategic partnership programme to develop physics capacity, including access to facilities, in sub-Saharan Africa.
  6. Enhanced investment in research and innovation infrastructure. 
  7. Providing an £87 million investment over 3 years to create an Office for Science Education Professional Development to address the specialist science teacher shortage and ensure high-quality physics teaching and training is available to everyone, everywhere. 
  8. Supporting initiatives such as the Science and Technology Facilities Council Skills Factory to address the growing need for technical skills in physics-based businesses. 

View the IOP's submission to the UK Government's Comprehensive Spending Review (PDF, 390KB)