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Innovation prospers

Philip Hammond delivered funding for research and development in the autumn statement.

Today’s papers

Innovation and science will benefit from the autumn statement delivered on 23 November. An extra £425 million will be spent on research and development in 2017-18, rising to £820 million in 2018-19, before hitting £1.5 billion in 2019-20 and £2 billion in 2020-21. The government says that the 20 per cent rise in its total spending on research and development is “more than any increase in any parliament since 1979”. The chancellor also announced an industrial strategy challenge fund that will be managed by Innovate UK and the research councils. The Northern Powerhouse has survived as a brand, despite being coined by yesterday’s man George Osborne, and the N8 group of universities will get £100 million for university-business collaborations, we report. However concerns remain that the funding will not fully cover the costs of the UK leaving the European Union and the nation has been urged to keep collaborating internationally. Research Fortnight, our sister publication, has an exclusive interview with Kevin Baughan, chief development officer at Innovate UK, who provides a glimpse of what researchers should expect, and a prescient piece on industrial strategy by our founder, William Cullerne Bown, who asks whether Theresa May will finish what David Willetts started.

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