UKRI presents strategy for delivering key R&D objectives

UKRI has published its corporate plan to deliver key improvements to the UK’s R&D ecosystem during the next 3 years. The corporate plan builds on UKRI’s five-year strategy, published earlier this year, which sets out long-term, high-level priorities to deliver its vision of “an outstanding research and innovation system in the UK that provides everyone with the opportunity to contribute and to benefit, enriching lives locally, nationally and globally.” 

In March this year, the Government also announced the largest ever R&D budget, with a £39.8 billion R&D budget for 2022-2025, with the bulk of this budget, £25 billion, allocated to UKRI to be distributed among UKRI's nine bodies and key programmes. This includes: 

  • a £16.8 billion investment over the 3-year period through core budgets for UKRI’s 7 Research Councils, Research England and Innovate UK 

  • a £2 billion investment over the 3-year period for a new collective cross-council approach to talent initiatives 

  • a £2.9 billion investment over the 3-year period in infrastructure projects 

The corporate plan clarifies how UKRI will distribute these resources over the next three years to achieve its vision and six strategic objectives, which are anchored by the four principles of diversity, connectivity, resilience, and engagement.  

 

The Corporate Plan: What are UKRI's six objectives and how will it distribute its resources? 

  • Objective 1: People and careers: making the UK the most attractive destination for talented people and teams from the UK and around the world. To achieve this, UKRI has created a £2 billion pooled talent budget that will support a portfolio of flagship studentships and fellowships across career stages, increasing investment in these programmes by 26% by 2024-25, including a £20 million extra investment to double the numbers of Turing AI World Leading Researcher-Fellowships in the UK. 

  • Objective 2: Places: securing the UK’s position as a globally leading research and innovation nation with outstanding institutions, infrastructures, sectors and clusters across the breadth of the country. UKRI will seek to contribute to the Government and BEIS targets for R&D funding outside the Greater South, investing £100 million in three pilot innovation accelerators in Greater Manchester, West Midlands and Glasgow City Region. Moreover, it will increase its annual investment in infrastructure by at least £200 million to reach over £1.1 billion a year in 2024-25. 

  • Objective 3: Ideas: advancing the frontiers of human knowledge and innovation by enabling the UK to seize opportunities from emerging research trends, multidisciplinary approaches and new concepts and markets. To achieve this, UKRI will invest £3.8 billion through open and responsive calls, through council-focussed investments, which are described in detail in each Council Strategic Delivery Plans

  • Objective 4: Innovation: delivering the government’s vision for the UK as an innovation nation, through concerted action of Innovate UK and wider UKRI, including increasing innovation spending by 66%, with a budget of more than £1 billion/year by 2024-25 for Innovate UK to make “the UK the best place in the world to innovate, invest, and grow a business.” 

  • Objective 5: Impacts: focusing the UK’s world-class science and innovation to target global and national challenges, create and exploit tomorrow’s technologies, and build the high-growth business sectors of the future. To achieve this, UKRI is increasing its investment in key technologies of the future, building on the UK’s success in AI, quantum technologies and engineering biology programmes and aligned with the technology families identified in the Government’s Innovation Strategy. This includes developing the next phase of the National Quantum Technologies Programme working through EPSRC to identify investment in future hubs and accelerating the market pull for emergent quantum technologies aligned to the programme. 

  • Objective 6: Organisation: UKRI will seek to be the most efficient, effective and agile organisation it can be, by reducing its business-as-usual operational expenditure from £291 million in 2022-23 to £220 million by 2024-25. 

techUK’s Innovation Policy Group is in close contact with UKRI and other key bodies for Research and Innovation in the UK, if you are a member of techUK please reach out to [email protected] to find out more. 

You can find UKRI’s full corporate plan including all announcements here.  

 

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