To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he plans to take to protect UK R&D investment that has been made in Scottish universities after the UK leaves the EU.
25 January 2017
The Government is committed to ensuring the UK remains a world leader in international research and innovation. As my Rt Hon Friend the Prime Minister has said, we would welcome an agreement to continue to collaborate with our European partners on major science, research, and technology initiatives. The Chancellor announced in August that the Treasury will guarantee all successful competitively-bid-for EU research funding applied for before the UK leaves the EU, so that UK participants, and their international partners, can be confident that they will have the funding necessary throughout the life of their Horizon 2020 funded project.
At the Autumn Statement 2016, the Government committed an extra £2 billion per year to research and development funding by 2020- 21, including for the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. This funding is additional to the protection of science resource funding that was announced at the spending review in autumn 2015, where science resource funding was protected in real terms, at £4.7 billion per year, for the rest of the Parliament. In the current financial year, total research and innovation funding is over £6bn.
My Rt Hon Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer has also confirmed a further £100m support for collaboration between universities across the range of knowledge exchange activity, and a further £100m for Innovate UK for the Biomedical Catalyst, from 2017/18 to 2020/21. The devolved administrations, including Scotland, will receive funding through the Barnett formula in the usual way in respect of any funding announced for England.
This Government wants the UK to be the go-to place for innovators and investors across the world, and we intend to secure the right outcome for the UK research base as we exit the European Union.