The parties agree on the need to back R&D—but will any deliver?
Whether it’s the Conservatives’ pledge to support our “outstanding science sector”, Labour’s promised creation of an “innovation nation”, or the Liberal Democrats’ wide-eyed ambition to make the UK a place where people “turn their ideas into reality”, the political parties’ election manifestos are not short of warm words about research.
All three of the biggest UK-wide parties have, in setting out their stall for the 12 December vote, committed to some form of target for raising investment in R&D as a proportion of GDP. The Tories have stuck to their 2.4 per cent by 2027 target, Labour promise 3 per cent by 2030, while the Liberal Democrats have also pledged 3 per cent, but by an unspecified date. The science representatives of all three, alongside the Scottish National Party, write exclusively in this issue of Research Fortnight in an effort to win over the sector with their policies on research and higher education.