This agency will be modelled on the U.S. organisation, setting out that it would invest £800m over five years to fund this.
For over five decades ARPA organisations in the United States have been at the forefront of conducting cutting edge research. APRA focuses on producing innovation in an agile, fail fast environment, with government acting as a key customer for the outcomes of successful projects.
The creation of a similar model in the UK presents an opportunity to fund riskier but higher reward research, while providing a new boundary pushing model and culture for government supported innovation. If done right, the agency can help develop the UK’s brand for innovation, attract the best and brightest talent, as well as tackle the challenges we face through high impact R&D.
To support government as it looks to develop its proposals, the CBI has developed a position paper setting out key priorities it must focus on to ensure the success of the new agency:
- The new agency cannot be a flash in the pan, so long-term funding is non-negotiable for success: government must have a long-term framework for funding and ensure that it uses its funding power to catalyse regional growth.
- Creating a new culture for developing high-reward innovation should be prioritised: the new agency must operate within a strong innovation ecosystem, establishing close links with UKRI, while developing products with a clear focus on the customer.
- Business and government engagement must lay at the heart of BARPA’s strategy: this will create a new global innovation brand for the UK, allowing us to compete for the best talent. But proportionate IP legislations and contractual flexibility will be vital to making this work and business should be given regular opportunities to invest in products created by the new agency.
The CBI will be calling on government to use the Budget as an opportunity to commit to a British Advanced Research Projects Agency (BARPA) and outline further details on its developments.
We are keen to continue hearing your views on this issue, specifically:
- How would an ARPA style organisation support your R&D goals?
- What do you think should be ARPA’s priorities when it comes to research?
- How can government best include business in the development of the agency?
Please contact Nathan Brown. for more information or to discuss further.