The British Academy responds to Spring Budget 2023

15 Mar 2023

Reacting to the Chancellor’s Spring Budget Statement, the British Academy has today urged the Government to act quickly to accelerate the UK’s association to Horizon Europe and make ‘real progress’ against its research, development and innovation ambitions.

Earlier this week, the Academy wrote to HM Treasury to outline how the Government can unlock the insights of research across SHAPE (Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts for People and the Economy) and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Medicine) disciplines to deliver real benefits for people across the United Kingdom.

The Academy identified three key challenges for this Government:

  • Improved global collaboration through rapid association to Horizon Europe and a substantial reduction in work and study visa costs and visa processes;
  • Investment in Research and Development (R&D), including talent, ensuring it is internationally competitive, establishing a long-term strategy for R&D and using the insights from across the R&D sector to drive productivity;
  • Supporting all disciplines so that they can work together to solve the most pressing challenges, such as reaching Net Zero and tackling the ‘cost of living’ crisis.

Professor Julia Black, President of the British Academy, said:

“The UK has a thriving research and innovation environment – presenting enormous economic, social and cultural benefits – and the humanities and social sciences are among its greatest strengths. We are pleased that in today’s Budget the Chancellor reiterated his ambition for research and development as a long-term source of UK prosperity.

“We would now like to see the Government make real progress against its ambitious commitments, starting with the right level of investment in research and innovation and support for the UK’s long-term participation in global research networks.

“As a priority, the Government should secure the UK’s association to Horizon Europe. This will help unlock the UK’s potential and make a tangible difference to peoples’ lives, delivering economic security and a better understanding of the world we share.”

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