Plans to increase public R&D investment to £22 billion

Already heavily influenced by Brexit and the dynamic new government and a chancellor eager to make a dramatic move, many will feel that last week’s budget was totally replaced by the extraordinary and global response to the evolving Covid-19 pandemic.


However, although we are far from an “environment”, the budget gives a clear indication of how this government intends to support R&D


In particular, UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced ambitious plans to dramatically increase public R&D investment to 22 billion pounds per year 2024-2025.


This would more than double UK’s investment here and clearly indicates a strong belief that the UK’s long-term global future hinges on its ability to


The government has also set a target to increase investment in R&D across the economy to 2.4% of GDP by 2027, placing science, l innovation at the heart of UK investment strategy.


The increase to £22 billion a year 2024-2025 would be the largest and most ever recorded expansion of support for basic research and innovation, bringing the direct support for R&D at % of GDP and placing the United Kingdom among the top of OECD countries – ahead of the United States, Japan, France and China, creating an innovation-intensive and technology-driven economy.


Areas of intervention


While extremely generally positive, specific details of how this increase in R&D investment will be postponed until the planned spending review later this year and are likely, in the short term, to be influenced by the response to the unprecedented pandemic deployment.


The following details have been released to date.


The increased investment in R&D will support a series of objectives:




Supporting businesses to innovate and grow


Increase in appropriation for expenditure on research and from 12% to 13% £200 million of own commitments for the life sciences investment program


£900m for Potential Technologies – focused on clean energy and supporting the National Space and Space Innovation Fund




Support advanced search in all regions all countries


£400 million in 2020-21 for state-of-the-art infrastructure and equipment


£300m for math research to attract the world’s best talent


£800m in a new blue sky funding agency that will fund high-risk, high-reward science


£80 million for key UK institutions over the next five years




Meeting societal challenges


£12 million to help reduce disease burden in the future for the National Institute for Health Research in 2020-21


£2 million sterling in 2020-2021 to the Chief Government Adviser and Office of Government Science for Resilience Strategic Science Cross Capabilities


£1.4 billion over 10 years in Weybridge Animal Health Science Centre


£180 million over 6 years for new storage and research facility at the Harwell Technology for Natural History Museum of Science and Innovation




Develop a greener economy


Double the size of the Energy Innovation Program


£270 million of new funding for new and existing heat networks to adopt low-carbon heat sources


Reducing pollution from vehicles by providing £403 million for the grant for plug-in cars £129.5 million for vans, cars and motorcycles, including £500 million for sterling over the next five years to support the rapid charging network deployment for electric vehicles


Natural Environment : £640m for tree planting and peatland restoration


Waste and recycling: £700 000 will establish the extended producer responsibility scheme, designed to encourage producers to make their packaging more recyclable and to reduce the amount of unnecessary packaging




The medium and long-term outlook for UK investment in R&D is extremely positive.In the immediate term, the COVID-19 pandemic will strongly influence both the availability and application of government funding


However, for ambitious organizations able to capitalize, a significant number of well-established public funding options remain open accessible.


The Capti Team is at the forefront of helping ambitious businesses identify and secure R&D & grant funding from public and philanthropic sources.


If you have a product, process or one that you think could benefit from R&D funding in or in the EU, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Capti team.