UKRI strategy will keep UK at forefront of research and innovation

Molecular structure, digital concept

UKRI’s first five-year strategy outlines how the organisation will support the UK’s world class research and innovation system, fuel an innovation-led economy and society and drive up prosperity across the UK.

Launched at the SciTech campus at Daresbury today, the strategy sets out how UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) will invest in people, places and ideas and break down barriers between disciplines and sectors to tackle current and future challenges.

In doing so, UKRI will support the government’s ambitions for the UK as:

  • a global leader in research and innovation
  • the best place in the world to innovate and invest in or grow a business.

UK’s transformative power

UKRI Chief Executive Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser said:

Throughout the pandemic, we have seen the transformative power of the UK’s exceptional research and innovation system to navigate an uncertain and fast-changing world.

As we emerge from the pandemic, we have a unique opportunity to empower our economy and our society, putting research and innovation at their heart.

UKRI’s strategy sets out our five-year vision for how we will catalyse this transformation, investing in people, places, and ideas and connecting them up to turn the challenges of the 21st century into opportunities for all.

Technologies and sectors of tomorrow

Science Minister George Freeman said:

The pace of scientific and technological progress is creating huge opportunities for countries that can secure global leadership in the global race for the technologies and sectors of tomorrow: from fusion energy to genomic medicine, agri-tech to artificial intelligence, the UK has huge strengths with the potential to attract billions of investment and drive new opportunities through clusters around the whole of the UK.

That’s why we have committed the biggest increase in public research and development, from £15 billion a year to £22 billion per annum over the next five years.

The key now is to make the UK the most agile, dynamic and interconnected research ecosystem in the world and unlock a new golden age of UK science.

Solutions to national and global challenges

UKRI Chair Sir Andrew Mackenzie said:

From the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of climate change to the technologies and jobs of tomorrow, research and innovation is integral to our present and our future.

Building on the UK’s extraordinary talent and creativity, UKRI’s strategy puts the UK at the forefront of solutions to national and global challenges and the development of an innovation-led country that works for everyone.

The strategy is based on four principles for change, applied across six outcome-focused objectives for how UKRI will deliver on its ambitions, working with government and partners across the sector.

Principles for change

Our four principles for change are:

  • diversity: we will support the diverse people, places and ideas needed for a creative and dynamic system
  • connectivity: we will build connectivity and break down silos across the system, nationally and globally
  • resilience: we will increase the agility and responsiveness of the system
  • engagement: we will help to embed research and innovation in our society and economy.

We will apply these principles to foster world class:

  • people and careers: making the UK the top destination for talented people and teams
  • places: securing the UK’s position as a globally leading research and innovation nation with outstanding institutions, infrastructures, sectors, and clusters across the breadth of the UK
  • ideas: advancing the frontiers of human knowledge and innovation by enabling the UK to seize opportunities from emerging research trends, multidisciplinary approaches and new concepts and markets
  • innovation: delivering the government’s vision for the UK as an innovation nation, through concerted action of Innovate UK and wider UKRI
  • impacts: focusing the UK’s world class science and innovation to target global and national challenges, create and exploit tomorrow’s technologies, and build the high-growth business sectors of the future
  • underpinned by a strong organisation: making UKRI the most efficient, effective, and agile organisation it can be.

Delivery plans for the objectives and the priorities within them will be outlined in strategic delivery plans for each of our constituent councils, which will be published later this year.

Top image:  Credit: MF3d, E+ via Getty Images

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