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Technology: Postgraduate Education

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN 262246, tabled on 10 June 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect on the UK economy of the Government's Industrial Strategy proposals to increase the number of people undertaking a high-tech PhD.

Answered on

13 June 2019

The Government has made significant progress in delivering our Industrial Strategy commitments. Through the Industrial Strategy, the Government has committed to increasing overall investment in R&D to 2.4% of GDP by 2027 and 3% in the longer term.

In order to reach the 2.4% R&D target, we need to continue to attract, retain and develop research talent. This is why the government is investing in talent programmes delivered by the National Academies and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

The Government has increased its investments in PhDs to support the delivery of this target and the Industrial Strategy Grand Challenges including:

  • In 2017, we announced funding of £300m over four years to increase the number of PhDs and fellowship programmes which will develop research talent and attract the brightest minds to the UK.
  • In April 2018, we announced a sector deal between government and industry that will put the UK at the forefront of the AI industry. As part of this, UKRI has invested £100m in 16 Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) to support 1000 new AI PhDs.

Alongside this, UKRI invests in CDTs more broadly, including the recent £446m investment in 75 CDTs across the engineering and physical sciences.

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