UK research & innovation receives £15m backing

Following on the launch of last week’s Industrial Strategy green paper, Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark has announced £15m of government grants for 125 cutting-edge R&D projects across the country.

UK research & innovation projects receiving funding cover a wide range of themes, including rapid charging for electric vehicles, 3D printing, and drone technology, with each concept designed to help businesses develop new products, processes and services with commercial potential.

Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark explained: “Research and innovation has a proven track record of helping drive our economy, while preparing us for the future and creating new products, services and better ways of doing business. For these reasons, science, research and innovation are at the heart of our Industrial Strategy.

“Our increased investment of £4.7bn in research and development funding by 2021 and funding for cutting-edge industries and companies will put the UK and British business at the forefront of global innovation and cement our status as a world-leader in science and research.”

Science Minister Jo Johnson has also announced that Professor Sir Mark Walport will be appointed as chief executive designate of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), leading on the establishment of UKRI and ensuring it plays a central role at the heart of the Industrial Strategy.

Subject to the passage of the Higher Education and Research Bill through parliament, UKRI will be established as a single, strategic body that will bring together the seven Research Councils, Innovate UK and the research and knowledge exchange functions of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

Following his appointment, Sir Walport will now work closely with the UKRI chair, Sir John Kingman, and the research and innovation communities across the UK to shape the new organisation over the coming months, delivering on the Industrial Strategy proposals for investing in science, research and innovation in the UK.

The announcements follow the publication of the government’s Industrial Strategy green paper last week, inviting industries, businesses and local groups to respond to the consultation by completing a series of questions and sharing their views on what the priorities should be for a modern Industrial Strategy.