Access Keys:


Research Councils welcome new research funding in the Autumn Statement


In his Autumn Statement today the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, outlined a new National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF) that will add an extra £2 billion a year for research and development by the end of this Parliament. The UK Research Councils welcome the increased government R&D spending.

Through the NPIF the government will fund:

  • Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund – a new cross-disciplinary fund to support collaborations between business and the UK’s science base, which will set identifiable challenges for UK researchers to tackle. The fund will be managed by Innovate UK and the research councils. Modelled on the USA’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency programme the challenge fund will cover a broad range of technologies, to be decided by an evidence-based process

  • Innovation, applied science and research – additional funding will be allocated to increase research capacity and business innovation, to further support the UK’s world-leading research base and to unlock its full potential. Once established, UKRI will award funding on the basis of national excellence and will include a substantial increase in grant funding through Innovate UK

Prof Philip Nelson, Chair of Research Councils UK, said: “The Chancellor’s announcement today acknowledges the role of R&D in driving the economy and in particular the important role research can have in improving UK productivity.   The Challenge led approach offers the potential to deploy the UK research base to work in partnership with UK business and build on our key UK strengths.”

Research Councils UK also welcomes comment from the Chief Executive of Innovate UK.

Dr Ruth McKernan said: “As the business-facing part of UK Research and Innovation we will work very closely with the Research Councils to make sure this support unlocks the full economic potential of our world leading science base to create more skilled jobs right across the UK.”

You can read the Autumn Statement in full here:

- ends -

Further information

RCUK Communications Team
Tel: 01793 444593 or email:

Freedom of Information | Cookies and Privacy | Terms and Conditions | © Research Councils UK 2014