Leaders from across the university-sector have expressed concern of the significant risk to UK research funding, firstly as a consequence of cuts to overseas development aid and, more recently, in response to reports that the UK’s association to Horizon Europe will be met from existing research budgets. We whole heartedly concur with these concerns and urge the Government to protect the UK’s world-class research base and innovation environment.
Our members, drawn from universities across the UK, work on a daily basis with academic colleagues to create value for the UK economy and society through effective knowledge exchange. Expectations on the sector to deliver innovations for growth, particularly through commercialisation of research and new company creation are, quite rightly, high. Knowledge exchange has delivered significant value and is a huge success story for the UK. It depends on our world-leading science base and the commitment of the research community to generate impact through company creation, licensing breakthrough technology, and collaboration. Nowhere has this been more evident than in the development of the Covid-19 vaccine by Oxford University and Astra-Zeneca, based on years of research and sophisticated engagement between a university and an industrial partner.
We recognise that change in the research and innovation system will present great opportunities, but the scale of the research budget cut – should it be made – would endanger long term research endeavours and deep-rooted collaborations; these are particularly valuable elements of the UK’s innovation pipeline. Confidence in our national ambition to be a global science and innovation superpower will be harmed. We urge the Government to restore that confidence and commitment by continuing to support investment for Horizon Europe in addition to existing research budgets.
PraxisAuril has welcomed the Government’s recognition of and funding commitments to science, research and innovation that underpin the ambition to achieve a national 2.4% R&D target, demonstrating continued confidence in the research base and its potential to deliver innovation for growth and productivity. Part of our mission is to ensure the UK has the best conditions for Knowledge Exchange and enabling our members to stimulate innovation, productivity and growth; locally, nationally and internationally.
Please direct all enquiries to Tamsin Mann, Director of Policy & Communications.