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The biggest investment in science in 40 years

Hot on the heels of April’s announcement that new government funding is available for investment in the creative industries (please click here to see our previous blog), it is now the turn of the scientific research and innovation sector to benefit from the government’s ‘Industrial Strategy’.

Last week, Greg Clark, the Business Secretary, announced a new £1.3 billion investment programme targeted at UK science and innovation, which is designed to attract and retain world-class talent in the sector and help develop the next generation of scientific entrepreneurs and innovators.

 The UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Future Leaders Fellowship Scheme, which will be open to the best scientific researchers in the world, will receive £900 million over the next 11 years. That money will finance over 500 new research fellowships, to be awarded over the next 3 years, to candidates from academia and commerce. It will provide up to 7 years of funding for early-career researchers/innovators, including those who want to tackle ambitious and ground-breaking projects.

Significantly, for the first time, this type of investment scheme will be open to businesses as well as universities and other academic institutions. In addition, to complement the new UKRI scheme:

  • The Royal Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the British Academy and the Academy of Medical Sciences will also jointly receive £350m for further research projects. This funding will increase the number of fellowships that are available for more highly-skilled researchers and innovators in a diverse range of fields.
  • £50 million has been allocated through the National Productivity Investment Fund for extra PhDs, including 100 PhDs to support research into Artificial Intelligence, over the next 5 years.

According to the government’s press release: “Previous investment in new talent has funded research into new cancer drugs and developed the technology which will bring us driverless cars. We want to build on this success and boost the pipeline of talent needed to build a Britain fit for the future. The money, part of the single biggest investment in science in 40 years, will help ensure the UK invests 2.4% of GDP in R&D by 2027 and becomes the most innovative economy by 2030.”

The government’s stated objective is to support the next generation of technology entrepreneurs, business leaders and innovators as they develop their careers. For more information on the advice and services that Bolt Burdon can offer to business entrepreneurs and innovators, across a range of different markets and sectors, please contact any of the following:

Matthew Miller (Partner):         matthewmiller@boltburdon.co.uk or 0207 288 4739

Tim Lucas (Senior Solicitor):    timothylucas@boltburdon.co.uk or 0207 288 4753

Olivia French (Solicitor):          oliviafrench@boltburdon.co.uk or 0207 288 4778

Alternatively, you can also contact one of our other solicitors in the Corporate and Commercial team here.

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