The announcement of the first tranche of challenges to be supported by the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) and additional support for high skilled research talent has been welcomed by the UK’s Research and Innovation leaders.
Dr Ruth McKernan, Chief Executive of Innovate UK said:
“The Chancellor’s announcement today is a great example of how the Industrial Strategy challenge fund will deliver the science that business needs. The first three challenge areas are: developing revolutionising battery technology, getting innovative medicines to patients more quickly and developing robots for use in hazardous environments. The UK has scientific expertise in these areas and we have excellent companies ready and willing to translate the technology into business growth across the UK.
“The Challenge fund is like nothing we have seen before in the UK, and it has enormous potential to deliver. These challenges are just the start and Innovate UK and the Research Councils are already working together, building on the evidence we’ve gathered from businesses across the country to look at the next tranche of support we can provide to get the UK’s researchers and businesses working together and firing on all cylinders.”
Professor Philip Nelson, Chair of Research Councils UK said:
“The Chancellor’s announcements are most welcome. Long-term funding for research and developing high-skilled research talent is vital to the UK’s future as a science power, allowing us to continue feeding the pipeline that transforms research into products and services. The UK is at the fore in many aspects of these fields, but countries across the globe are putting effort and resource in too, so these investments are strategically significant.”
The Spring Budget announced an initial investment of £270 million in 2017-18 to kick-start the development of disruptive technologies that have the potential to transform the UK economy.
Following engagement with experts in academia and industry, the Budget announces that the first wave of challenges funded from the ISCF will include the following:
The Budget also announced an investment of £250 million over the next four years to continue to build the pipeline of high-skilled research talent necessary for a growing and innovative economy:
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RCUK Communications Team
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The Spring Budget is available in full.
Research Councils UK (RCUK) is the strategic partnership of the UK’s seven Research Councils. Our collective ambition is to ensure the UK remains the best place in the world to do research, innovate and grow business. The Research Councils are central to delivering research and innovation for economic growth and societal impact. Together, we invest £3 billion in research each year, covering all disciplines and sectors, to meet tomorrow’s challenges today. Our investments create new knowledge through: funding research excellence; responding to society’s challenges; developing skills, leadership and infrastructure; and leading the UK’s research direction. We drive innovation through: creating environments and brokering partnerships; co-delivering research and innovation with over 2,500 businesses, 1,000 of which are SMEs; and providing intelligence for policy making. Find out more about our work at www.rcuk.ac.uk.
The seven UK Research Councils are: