New UK research agency and uplift in RandD funding in Queens speech

The Queen’s Speech contained important new announcements on research and innovation funding. Extracted from ‘THE QUEEN’S SPEECH AND ASSOCIATED BACKGROUND BRIEFING, ON THE OCCASION OF THE OPENING OF PARLIAMENT ON MONDAY 14 OCTOBER 2019′.

Science, space and infrastructure

“My Government is committed to establishing the United Kingdom as a world-leader in scientific capability and space technology. Increased investment in science will be complemented by the development of a new funding agency, a more open visa system, and an ambitious national space strategy.”

  • We are committed to making the UK a global science superpower and a magnet for brilliant people and businesses from across the world.
  • To build on our world-leading excellence in science and deliver solutions to some of the world’s grand challenges we are:
  • Setting out plans in the autumn to significantly boost public R&D funding, providing a framework that gives long-term certainty to the scientific community.

○   Establishing a new National Space Council and launching a comprehensive UK Space Strategy.

○   Introducing a more accessible visa system to attract global scientific and research talent.

○   Backing a new approach to funding emerging fields of research and technology, broadly modelled on the US Advanced Research Projects Agency. We will work with industry and academics to finalise this proposal.

○   Reducing bureaucracy in research funding to ensure our brilliant scientists are able to spend as much time as possible creating new ideas, not filling in unnecessary forms.

  • Our world-leading excellence in science is the foundation on which we can build the UK’s future prosperity and productivity, and tackle some of the greatest challenges facing society – such as ending the UK’s contribution to climate change, managing the adoption and use of Artificial Intelligence, transforming our transport systems, and embracing the changes associated with an ageing population.
  • Space capabilities are increasingly central to our day-to-day life – underpinning a range of technologies from smartphones to navigation systems. A new National Space Council and UK Space Strategy will help us lead the way in this fast-growing, high-technology sector, creating thousands of jobs across the country and generating opportunities to strengthen the UK’s global influence while keeping people safe.
  • Our new fast-track immigration scheme for top scientists and researchers will help significantly enhance the intellectual and knowledge base of the UK.
  • A new approach to funding emerging fields of research and technology will provide long term funding to support visionary scientific, engineering, and technology missions, and will complement the UK’s existing world class research system.
  • The R&D funding plans we will unveil in autumn 2019 will help accelerate our ambition to reach 2.4 per cent of GDP spent on R&D by 2027. This boost in funding will allow us to invest strategically in cutting-edge science, while encouraging the world’s most innovative businesses to invest in the UK.
  • The Cabinet-level National Space Council will put space at the heart of Government policy and help us deliver a UK Space Strategy.
  • The Space Strategy will boost future funding and lead to a dedicated innovation programme to support future space exploration through cutting-edge British innovation in Artificial Intelligence, robotics and satellites.
  • The Government has also announced that the UK will accelerate efforts to realise fusion energy through investment in a new UK fusion reactor design programme, known as STEP, which aims to deliver the world’s first commercially viable fusion power plant by 2040.

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