The British Academy responds to the Government’s R&D roadmap

1 Jul 2020

The British Academy today responds to the Government’s R&D roadmap, welcoming its commitment to ambitious research and innovation objectives.

Professor Sir David Cannadine, President of the British Academy, said:

“With this new Roadmap, the Government reaffirms its commitment to the UK’s world-leading research and development sector – and not a moment too soon. Research and innovation – in the SHAPE disciplines (social sciences, humanities and the arts) and in STEM – will be vital for navigating our way out of the health, economic and social crises brought on by COVID-19, and will be of paramount importance as we seek to rebuild a better society and tackle the key challenges of the 21st century.

“We support the Roadmap’s core objective to further the health, prosperity and national security of the UK. We particularly share the government’s ambitions to achieve net zero carbon emissions, close the productivity gap and embrace the transformative potential of new technologies to improve the quality of life in this country and overseas. The emphasis on discovery research is also welcome, though we must remember it is not only about ground-breaking discoveries but about allowing researchers to explore new ideas, including those with benefits that are not easily quantifiable. In SHAPE disciplines research and innovation often leads to invaluable economic, psychological or historical insights which are of great benefit to society and to individuals. Retaining breadth and versatility of funding sources to support such research remains essential to enabling the sector to flourish.

“To make these ambitions a reality and make full use of any new investments, we must ensure that we build the appropriate capacity of researchers and management and support resources, prioritising equality, diversity and inclusion. We welcome the opportunity to explore further how the proposed Office for Talent can support the sector and the UK to remain an attractive place for research talent from around the globe.

“We look forward to working with the government to ensure that the promised increased investment in research is carefully coordinated and used to deliver benefits in an effective and joined up way.”

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