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The British Academy welcomes “bold commitment” to research in Budget Statement

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The British Academy welcomed today's Budget Statement, in which the Government announced it will more than double public investment in research and development and create a new ARPA-style innovation centre.

Hetan Shah, Chief Executive of the British Academy, said:

“Research and ideas are a global currency and a great source of soft power and influence for the United Kingdom. Insights from the humanities and social sciences help us to shape our future: driving productivity, raising living standards and tackling the most significant challenges we face today. This bold commitment to investment in R&D signals that our position of world leadership in research and innovation will continue to be a central pillar of our relationship with our global partners.

“The announcement of an ARPA-style blue-skies thinking centre is a reflection of the importance of R&D in meeting society’s needs and building effective strategies to tackle global challenges on a societal scale. This centre will be involved in developing and designing innovations that have high levels of risk of failure, yet the potential rewards are huge, so having a clear sense of purpose for it will be critical for its success and public support. There is no shortage of clear reminders of what a strong commitment to R&D can achieve; the COP26 conference later this year, for example, is a chance to galvanise a practical and effective response to climate change from the global community.”