UK to invest £25bn in own ‘world-class research’ after being banned from EU project

Lord Frost gives update on UK’s participation in Horizon Europe

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Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has confirmed UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) detailed three-year budget allocations. The UKRI is a collection of nine councils that direct research and innovation funding through the science budget of the Department for the Government. 

The UKRI board advised the Government on how the £25billion budget should be allocated to promote scientific research and innovation in the UK.

UKRI’s overall budget was set as part of the 2021 Spending Review and rises from £7,904million in 2022 to 2023, to £8,874million in 2024 to 2025.

Research England received the biggest of the funding at £6.23billion, as the council is responsible for providing funding to English universities for research and knowledge exchange activities.

UKRI Chief Executive, Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser said: “The research and innovation mission is critical to the prosperity of the UK, enriching lives locally, nationally and globally.

“Research and innovation underpin the creation of high-quality jobs and public services and are key in tackling the many challenges we face, from achieving sustainable and affordable energy to improving life-long health and wellbeing.

“The importance of research and innovation to the future of the UK is reflected in UKRI’s increasing budget at a time of significant pressure on public finances.”

It comes after the EU blocked researchers in the UK from accessing its £80bn funds through the Horizon Europe project.

By setting out a multi-year budget, the UKRI now has the stability needed to carry out its five-year strategy, the statement said.

The budget also allocated £3.05billion for developing infrastructure and another £2.81billion for “Collective Talent Funding and new cross-UKRI Strategic Programmes”.

Professor Leyser added: “We have set out in our five-year strategy how we will align incentives and investments to support the very best ideas, talented people and teams, and places across the UK, to build a positive research and innovation culture that delivers impact.

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“We will ensure that we continuously improve as an organisation, allowing us to support research and innovation communities across the UK in an agile and efficient way.

“We will invest in a diverse and balanced portfolio, coordinating across our budgets to ensure the UK’s outstanding research and innovation system creates and captures opportunities and drives economic, social, environmental and cultural benefits for all.”

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