Research and innovation

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on research, development and innovation. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Commons Briefing Papers

DateDescription
03.11.2016Research and development expenditure regionally and in the UK: Social Indicators page
UK research and development expenditure with regional breakdown and international comparisons.
13.10.2016Civilian drones
This paper outlines current regulations for the use of recreational and commercial drones in the UK. It also presents recent policy development in the UK and internationally, as well as emerging technological and regulatory issues related to drone integration into domestic airspace.
26.08.2016Brexit: impact across policy areas
This Commons Library briefing paper looks at the current situation in a range of policy areas and considers what impact Brexit might have. This will depend, among other things, on the Brexit negotiations, whether the UK stays in the European Economic Area and how the Government fills any policy gaps left by withdrawal.
15.07.2016Support for science
Public funding for research comes from a mix of devolved (e.g. Higher Education Funding Council for England) and UK (e.g. Research Councils) institutions. Bodies like Innovate UK have a specific focus on industrial research.
28.01.2016Electric vehicles and infrastructure
This paper explains what electric vehicles are and how successive governments have planned for infrastructure to encourage and accommodate their growth. It also sets out the various grant streams that have been allocated for the same purpose.
16.11.2015Social Indicators 2015
This Research Paper summarises a wide range of social statistics. Subjects covered include agriculture, crime, defence, education, elections, environment and energy, health, housing, local government, population and migration, social security and transport.
13.10.2015Access to Medical Treatments (Innovation) Bill 2015-16
This Commons Library briefing provides information on the main provisions of the Access to Medical Treatments (Innovation) Bill 2015-16 and on the development of previous legislation on medical innovation (the Bill builds upon provisions in Lord Saatchi's Medical Innovation Bill 2014-15).
21.07.2015Spending on Research and Development in the UK
How much is spent on research and development in the UK? How is this spending broken down by region, industry and government department? In answering these and related questions, this note presents and examines a wide range of data relating to R&D in the UK.
24.07.2014Energy Storage R&D
There is a widely held view that electricity storage has a role to play in the future of energy, helping to integrate increasing levels of renewable generation into the UK generation mix
10.03.2014Care.data
This note provides information about the introduction of the NHS care.data system and the use of patients' data for research, and about how patients' can opt out of having information from their medical records shared through this system.

Lords Library Notes

DateDescription
27.10.2016Leaving the European Union: Funding for Universities and Scientific Research
This House of Lords Library briefing provides information on current university and research funding in the UK and identifies some of the key issues raised about this funding following the UK's referendum vote to withdraw from the EU.
12.07.2013Debate on 18 July: Role of Government in Generating Economic Prosperity and Employment
This Note outlines recent data on the performance of the UK economy, announcements by the Government for capital spending, spending on research and development and action to help businesses gain access to funding. It also looks at proposals for the Government to take more of a role in managing growth, in particular whether the UK needs a more coherent and long-term industrial strategy.
15.10.2012Debate on 18 October: Scott Expedition to Antarctica and Scientific Legacy
This Library Note provides background reading for the debate to be held on Thursday, 18 October: 'the centenary of the Scott Expedition to Antarctica and of the United Kingdom's enduring scientific legacy and ongoing presence there'.

POSTnotes

DateDescription
16.08.2016New Drugs for Dementia
A POSTnote outlining the challenges in developing new drugs to treat dementia, and an overview of UK and international research activities to accelerate progress.
12.08.2016Automation and the Workforce
Automation technologies can reduce costs and raise productivity. However, there is considerable uncertainty over their potential effects on the UK workforce. This note provides an overview of how these technologies are being used; and potential implications for employment, skills, education and inequality in the coming decades.
09.08.2016Electronic Cigarettes
This POSTnote updates POSTnote 455 (January 2014), summarising the latest data on scale of use, safety and quality of electronic cigarettes, and their value as a stop smoking tool. It also explores the implications of the new EU Tobacco Products Directive and regulatory approaches in the UK.
20.06.2016Sugar and Public Health
This POSTnote summarises the health risks associated with eating a diet high in sugar and outlines the policy options that might best enable people to limit their sugar consumption.
27.05.2016Infant Mortality and Stillbirth in the UK
A POSTnote which reviews recent data on stillbirth and infant mortality rates in the UK and examines the factors contributing to increased risk. It then looks at the policy options that may help to improve health outcomes for infants and their families.
24.05.2016Financial Technology (FinTech)
Financial Technology (FinTech) describes the application of digital technology to financial services. This POSTnote reviews how and why FinTech is being used, and the benefits and challenges it presents to the UK.

Select Committee Reports

DateDescription
07.09.2011Strategically important metals.
Government response. Science and Technology Select Committee; Department for Business, Innovation and Skills report [Commons]
07.09.2011UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation.
Government response. Science and Technology Select Committee; Department for Business, Innovation and Skills report [Commons]
18.07.2011Peer review in scientific publication.
Science and Technology Select Committee report [Commons]
17.05.2011Public procurement as a tool to stimulate innovation.
Science and Technology Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
04.05.2011Strategically important metals.
Science and Technology Select Committee report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

DateDescription
11.01.2012WIDE MINDS NETWORK
That this House congratulates the work of Wide Minds, or WiMi, a network that acts as a forum for innovation and best practice in digital learning; notes that WiMi has a presence in ...
08.12.2011AMERICIUM-241
That this House notes that Americium-241 is a by-product of nuclear power stations such as those in Heysham; further notes that the University of Leicester is now developing radio isotope ...
09.11.2011ANTIBIOTIC ACTION INITIATIVE
That this House notes the importance of the aims of the Antibiotic Action Initiative of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy that is examining ways to encourage the discovery, ...
19.10.2011IMPLEMENTATION OF BUSINESS, INNOVATION AND SKILLS COMMITTEE REPORT ON PUB COMPANIES
That this House welcomes the finalreport by the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee on Pub Companies (Tenth Report of Session 2010-12, HC 1369-I), which found that industry self-regulation ...
14.07.2011SPACE SCIENCE CONTRIBUTION TO THE BRITISH ECONOMY
That this House notes that space science and exploration, an area of world leadership in the UK's science base, has delivered significant long-term economic benefits, in addition to ...

Glossary

  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses