Investing in UK R&D

by the British Academy, Royal Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Academy of Medical Sciences



There is broad consensus across the political spectrum that investing in research and innovation now will deliver economic growth, societal benefits and position the UK at the forefront of the industries of the future.

The Prime Minister has stated that his ambition is for the UK to “become a scientific superpower”, to “tackle this country’s unresolved challenges” and to “level up”. Research and innovation are central to achieving these ambitions and the UK government has made welcome commitments to increase investment in research and innovation.

This document outlines the current investment landscape, progress against the government’s targets, why a longer-term target of 3% GDP invested in R&D is important and factors that should be considered to deliver it.

Page updated 10 February 2022.

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