Public investment in research and development paramount to future economic growth, states letter to Chancellor.

The Society is one of 33 signatories on an open letter to the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, urging the UK Government to increase public investment in research and development (R&D) to £22bn by 2024/25. 

The letter, sent to the Chancellor on 12 October, asks the Government to use the upcoming Spending Review to commit to a previous pledge by the Prime Minister to make the UK a science and technology superpower.

Bruce McGill, Society Chief Executive Officer, said: "Investment in research and development is vital to ensure that the UK continues to innovate, and to develop the economic resilience and flexibility required to meet the challenges of the future.”

Joining other prominent engineering institutions in signing the joint letter, the Society believes that by committing to investment in R&D in line with other leading scientific nations, the UK can drive the economy and create jobs as part of a long-term plan for growth.

Despite promises made by the Chancellor to increase public R&D, there are fears that this crucial spending figure and target date could be overlooked in favour of other objectives. Now, the Government has been reminded of its £22bn commitment by organisations that are at the cutting edge of scientific and technological research and are familiar with its long-term value to the nation.

Delaying the investment package for three years – as policy experts have predicted – would trigger a £11bn loss in private investment by 2027-28, analysis by the Campaign for Science and Engineering found.

Daniel Moir, Society Chief Operating Officer, said: “As a part of the engineering community, and an institution that aims to represent the views of its membership, we are fully supportive of this proposal to secure vital funding for science and engineering research and development.”

The Society welcomes support from its members to further discuss its support for the investment package. The letter in full can be found here: 

Open Letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer on Investing in RD