05 Mar 2023
The Prime Minister and Technology Secretary have today (Monday 6 March) launched the Government’s plan to cement the UK’s place as a Science and Technology Superpower by 2030, alongside a raft of new measures backed by over £370 million to boost investment in innovation, bring the world’s best talent to the UK, and seize the potential of ground-breaking new technologies like AI.
The new Science and Technology Framework is the first major piece of work from the newly created Department for Science, Innovation and Technology and will challenge every part of Government to better put the UK at the forefront of global science and technology this decade through 10 key actions – creating a coordinated cross-government approach.
In doing so, the Government will foster the right conditions for industry innovation and world leading scientific research to deliver high-paid jobs of the future, grow the economy in cutting-edge industries, and improve people’s lives from better healthcare to security.
The ten points of the new Science and Technology Framework centre on:
The delivery of this new Framework will begin immediately with an initial raft of projects, worth around £500 million in new and existing funding, which will help ensure the UK has the skills and infrastructure to take a global lead in game-changing technologies.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:
“Trailblazing science and innovation have been in our DNA for decades. But in an increasingly competitive world, we can only stay ahead with focus, dynamism and leadership.
“That’s why we’re setting out 10 key actions under a bold new plan to cement our place as a global science and technology superpower by 2030 – from pursuing transformational technologies like AI and supercomputing to attracting top talent and ensuring they have the tools they need to succeed.
“The more we innovate, the more we can grow our economy, create the high-paid jobs of the future, protect our security, and improve lives across the country.”
Science, Innovation and Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan said:
“Innovation and technology are our future. They hold the keys to everything from raising productivity and wages, to transforming healthcare, reducing energy prices and ultimately creating jobs and economic growth in the UK, providing the financial firepower allowing us to spend more on public services.
“That is why, today, we are putting the full might of the British government and our private sector partners behind our push to become a scientific and technological superpower, because only through being world-leaders in future industries like AI and quantum will we be able to improve the lives of every Briton.”
The initial package of projects to drive forward the actions of the Science and Technology Framework includes:
The Framework has been designed in consultation with industry experts and academics, to help deliver stronger growth, better jobs, and bold discoveries to tackle the challenges of today and tomorrow.
The plan will be a cross-Government endeavour led by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) to bring together responsibility for the UK’s world class research and innovation system with the five technologies of tomorrow – quantum, AI, engineering biology, semiconductors, future telecoms plus life sciences and green technologies, into one single department for the first time.
Director of the Francis Crick Institute and Lead Reviewer of the Landscape Review, Paul Nurse said:
“It is absolutely right, as the Prime Minister has said, that the future of the UK depends upon research, science and technology. Only by being a leading science nation can the UK drive a sustainable economy, increased productivity and generate societal benefits such as improved healthcare and protecting the environment.
“The Government’s endorsement of this approach is to be fully supported. My Review of the research, development and innovation landscape makes a range of recommendations across the whole RDI endeavour, which if adopted together, provides a blueprint for Government to make the UK a genuine science superpower.”
Today the government is also announcing a further extension until 30 June 2023 of the financial guarantee provided to the UK’s Horizon Europe applicants so that eligible, successful bids for calls closing on or before this date continue to be guaranteed funding, supporting them to continue their important work in research and innovation.
Science, innovation and technology are the drivers of economic growth and productivity. More than half of the UK's future labour productivity growth will come from adopting the best available technologies and the rest from ‘pushing the frontier’ of technology even further. Each £1 of public R&D investment leverages £2 of private R&D investment in the long run.
Today’s announcements build on existing Government efforts to support science and technology. This includes setting up the Advanced Research and Invention Agency (ARIA) to fund high-risk, high-reward R&D; investing £100 million in a pilot bringing together national and local partners in Glasgow, Greater Manchester and the West Midlands to accelerate their growth into major, globally competitive centres for research and innovation; and publishing the UK Digital Strategy committed to rolling out world-class digital infrastructure, unlocking the value of data to create growth, innovation and societal benefits across the UK and harnessing digital transformation to build a more inclusive, competitive and innovative digital economy.
The Government will be making further announcements shortly, including publication of the Wireless Infrastructure Strategy.