Reaching the government’s spending target will require fresh thinking on supporting industrial R&D, say Martin Turner and Eric Johnsson.
Paul Nurse’s 2015 review of the research councils felt significant enough at the time. But the changes in UK R&D funding since then have gone beyond anyone’s expectations.
Foremost among these is the target to increase investment in R&D to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. This includes a £7-billion uplift in public funding between 2016 and 2021. Then there is the merging of the research councils and Innovate UK into UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the shift to challenge-led funding competitions.