To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that levels of investment in research and development in medicines is maintained after the UK leaves the EU.
16 November 2017
The Government is committed to maintaining and enhancing the strength of our research base. This is why we are increasing research and development investment by £4.7 billion over the period 2017-18 to 2020-21, an increase of around 20% to total government R&D spending, more than any increase in any parliament since 1979. This is in addition to our commitment to invest in new scientific infrastructure on a record scale – £6.9 billion over the period 2015-2021.
While we remain a member of the EU, UK businesses and universities should continue to bid for competitive EU funds, and we will work with the Commission to ensure payment when funds are awarded. The Government will underwrite the payment of such awards, even when specific projects continue beyond the UK’s departure from the EU. This includes awards that are bid for before exit that are successful after exit. This guarantee gives British participants and their EU partners the assurance and certainty needed to plan ahead for collaborative projects that can run over many years. We are committed to ensuring that the UK continues to be a world leader in international science and research, including in the development of medicines.