With a series of announcements on R&D support, there were three big wins for business, but more to do for long-term settlements.
An increase in R&D spending this year
Overall, the Spending Review was positive for research and development, setting out a recommitment to the 2.4% R&D target, and increasing public investment in R&D to £14.6bn in the coming year (up from £12.9bn). The uplift includes investment across government in R&D related to national priorities such as tackling COVID-19, net zero and defence, alongside an uplift to R&D investment through UK Research and Innovation.
A recognition of the need for spending certainty
The one-year Spending Review was highlighted as a risk for science and innovation by many members. Government has recognised the importance of long-term planning for research and provided an ambitious multi-year settlement for the National Academies and UK Research and Innovation’s core research budgets. However, while the importance of Innovate UK was recognised, it has at this point only received a one-year settlement, which will be worth £490m next year. The Budget will be a key opportunity to build on this commitment to business innovation.
New funding for in