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Science: Research

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN 51770, tabled on 20 September 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what additional new global funding for science research he has secured for the UK after leaving the EU.

Answered on

28 September 2021

The Government recognises the critical importance of global research partnerships and supporting UK researchers to collaborate across the world. Our commitment to research and innovation has been clearly demonstrated by my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Budget announcement of increasing investment in R&D across government to £14.6bn in 2021/22; and as set out in the Integrated Review, international collaboration is central to a healthy and productive R&D sector.

On 1st April, the Department set out an additional £250m of funding for the R&D sector. As a result, UK scientists will have access to more public funding than ever before. This takes total Government investment in R&D to £14.9 billion in 2021/22 and follows four years of significant growth in R&D funding, including a boost of more than £1.5 billion in 2020/21.

For example, our commitment is demonstrated through the Square Kilometre Array Observatory, of which the UK is a founding country. In June 2021 the start of construction in Australia and South Africa was announced at a total cost of £1.7 billion, to which the UK is committing over £270 million. When complete, this radio telescope network will be the most advanced on Earth, and its headquarters are in the UK, at Jodrell Bank just south of Manchester.

Additionally, the Department administers approximately £10m in tactical funds to enable agile, catalytic R&D collaborations with international partners. The funds support Integrated Review ambitions, Government research priorities including Net Zero, and Innovation.

Given we are currently conducting a Spending Review, it would not be appropriate to pre-judge the outcome and comment on future spending plans.