Business Secretary Greg Clark has announced a major new investment in UK talent and skills to grow and attract the best in science research and innovation.
In a speech at the International Business Festival, UK, Clark outlined £1.3bn (~€1.4bn) of investment for British universities and businesses to develop the next generation of research and innovation and scientific leaders who will ensure our future economic prosperity.
The investment will build on previous success and boost the pipeline of talent needed to enhance Britain’s 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 research and development by 2027 and becomes the most innovative economy by 2030.
Clark said: “We are a nation of innovators, with some of the world’s greatest inventions created on British soil – from penicillin to the first computer programme. We want to retain our global reputation as a destination for world-class scientists and researchers, by providing opportunities to find and nurture the next Ada Lovelace and Isaac [Newton].
“International collaboration has been key to many of the most significant discoveries and breakthroughs.”
How will the new research and innovation fund change UK science?
The UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship Scheme will receive £900m over the next 11 years, with six funding competitions and around 550 fellowships awarded over the next three years.
The investment will provide up to seven years of funding for early-career researchers and innovators, including:
- Support for part-time awards and career-breaks; and
- Provide flexibility to researchers to tackle ambitious and challenging areas.
This new research and innovation scheme aims to help next generation technology entrepreneurs, business leaders and innovators to get the support they need to develop their ideas and careers and is open to researchers from around the world, ensuring the UK continues to attract talent.
Chief Executive of UK Research and Innovation Professor Sir Mark Walport said: “Talented people are the energy and engine of new knowledge, new ideas and new opportunities. The long-term investment announced today means the UK will continue to attract and grow the very best, supporting those who want to solve the most difficult questions whether they are in frontier science, our evolving society or our changing economy.”