Delivery plans for UKRI outline 2.4% GDP ambitions

13 June 2019

UKRI and its nine councils have published Delivery Plans that detail how the UK will meet its 2.4% GDP target by 2027 and ensure that world-leading research and innovation is fostered.
Georgina Hines

The plans detail how UKRI will maintain the UK’s competitive innovation landscape by increasing R&D investment, fostering skills within our future workforce, improving research and innovation culture, and strengthening research in all regions of the UK.

Its councils, which include Innovate UK, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), each have their own Delivery Plan that will help deliver UKRI’s overarching aims.

‘The delivery plans […] are the blueprints for UKRI’s ambition to deliver the future of research and innovation,’ said UKRI CEO, Sir Mark Walport. ‘They outline how we will address the major global and societal challenges of our time, catalyse collaboration and contribute to meeting the government’s ambitious 2.4% target.’

UKRI’s flagship innovation programme – the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund – has gone from strength to strength, with £1.7bn invested into programmes such as the Faraday Battery Challenge and Transforming Food Production in the first two waves of funding.

The Fund aims to increase UK business investment in R&D through match-funding and also increase overseas investment into the UK to maintain the nation’s position as a world-leading research and innovation hub.

The organisation is also set to release an Infrastructure Roadmap later this year that will help inform future investment decisions in research infrastructure and find common themes that will hopefully drive a cross-sectoral approach to hitting UKRI’s targets.

Since launching, UKRI has supported over 1,400 fellowships and 27,000 studentships as part of its drive to foster research and innovation skills. Over the next year, it plans to continue to support its talent programmes and introduce new schemes, such as the launch of new AI CDT studentships and a new Innovation Scholarship scheme.

‘UKRI has had a strong first year – the Future Leaders Fellowships programme, the Strength in Places Fund and the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund are all examples of the difference we can make working together as one organisation,’ Sir Mark said.

‘But there is much more to do. Our vision is to benefit everyone by delivering knowledge with impact. Our delivery plans set out how we intend to make that ambition a reality.’

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