COMMONS

Balance and effectiveness of research and innovation spending inquiry launched

20 July 2018

In May 2018, UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) published its Strategic Prospectus, which represents “the beginning of the process to develop a detailed Research and Innovation Strategy”.

It states that “We will work with Government to develop a plan for meeting this target [to increase the UK’s investment in research and development to 2.4% of GDP by 2027, and in the future to 3%], maximising the impact of public investment in research and innovation, and supporting business and other partners to invest more.” It envisages ongoing work on “what constitutes reasonable balance” of its funding.

Terms of reference

Against that background, the Committee is undertaking an inquiry on the balance and effectiveness of research and innovation spending and would welcome written evidence by Friday 28 September 2018 that addresses the following issues:

  • The effectiveness of public spending on R&D, including through mechanisms such as the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund;
  • The rationale needed for deciding on the balance of public R&D funding between:

- individual research disciplines, research councils and cross-disciplinary schemes;
- the two research funding streams of the ‘dual support’ system;
- research and innovation;
- pure and applied research;
- block funding, responsive mode funding and directed funding for the Industrial Strategy;
- the ‘golden triangle’ of London, Oxford and Cambridge, and the rest of the UK; and
- global challenges and other strategic/national priorities.

  • The effectiveness of and balance between the different available UKRI/Government levers for encouraging innovation, including: R&D tax credits, the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI), Innovate UK loans and grants, measures proposed in the ‘patient capital’ review, and other initiatives.
  • The most appropriate phasing of the increase in R&D spending by UKRI over the next few years, in order to meet the Government’s 2.4%/3.0% of GDP targets, and what if any changes will be needed in the forthcoming 2019 Spending Review to deliver these targets.
  • Assumptions about the public/private mix in delivering the 2.4%/3.0% of GDP targets, the extent past patterns will be replicated in future and the levers that can be used to increase private sector spend on R&D.

Submitting written evidence

Submit written evidence via our inquiry page.

Each submission should:

a) be in Word format with as little use of logos as possible  
b) have numbered paragraphs  
c) include a declaration of interests.

Please note that:

  • Material already published elsewhere should not form the basis of a submission, but may be referred to within a proposed memorandum.
  • Memoranda submitted must be kept confidential until published by the Committee, unless publication by the person or organisation submitting it is specifically authorised.
  • Once submitted, evidence is the property of the Committee. The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to make public the written evidence it receives, by publishing it on the internet (where it will be searchable), by printing it or by making it available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure. The Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence. 

Select Committees are unable to investigate individual cases.

Submissions need not address every aspect of the terms of reference and should be no longer than 3,000 words.

The Committee values diversity and seeks to ensure this where possible. We encourage members of underrepresented groups to submit written evidence.

Further information

Image: PA

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