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Arpa needs Innovate UK

New agency should be part of a coherent, properly funded innovation strategy, says Julia King

We have heard a lot about a UK Advanced Research Projects Agency in the last few weeks.

There seems to be agreement on some aspects of the proposed agency. It should focus on high-risk, high-reward research with economic potential. It should be run by outstanding, highly autonomous project managers. It should be free to spend its funds as grants, loans, investments, and so on. It should be light on its feet, allowing projects to fail fast and reassigning their funding. And all this will be best achieved if UK Arpa exists outside UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

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