The government’s long-term objectives for R&D are clear: to be a science superpower and invest in the science and research that will deliver economic growth and societal benefits across the UK for decades to come, and to build the foundations for the new industries of tomorrow. This was supported by the unprecedented commitment at the Budget to increase public investment in R&D to £22 billion by 2024 to 2025.

Themes relevant to KTN, and which chime well with our new 5-year strategy, included:

  • Commercialisation of ideas from research
  • Accelerating the adoption and diffusion of innovation more widely across the economy and society
  • Levelling up innovation (Place)
  • Moon-shot/challenge programmes
  • Major societal and environmental focus – such as Net Zero
  • International collaboration

Accompanying the Roadmap was an online consultation, which asked the following, high-level questions:

  • How can we best increase knowledge and understanding through research, including by achieving bigger breakthroughs?
  • How can we maximise the economic, environmental and societal impact of research through effective application of new knowledge?
  • How can we encourage innovation and ensure it is used to greatest effect, not just in our cutting-edge industries, but right across the economy and throughout our public services?
  • How can we attract, retain and develop talented and diverse people to R&D roles? How can we make R&D for everyone?
  • How should we ensure that R&D plays its fullest role in levelling up all over the UK?
  • How should we strengthen our research infrastructure and institutions in support of our vision?
  • How should we most effectively and safely collaborate with partners and networks around the globe?
  • How can we harness excitement about this vision, listen to a wider range of voices to ensure R&D is delivering for society, and inspire a whole new generation of scientists, researchers, technicians, engineers, and innovators?

KTN responded with 23 wide-ranging recommendations across these 8 areas of interest – mainly designed to illustrate our ability to connect across the innovation landscape for positive change.

We worked closely with CBI, Nesta and some teams at Innovate UK to ensure a coherent response.

A full list of the recommendations, with a rationale, can be found below.

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