On Thursday 22 July, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has published a new Innovation Strategy which it says will “ensure the UK keeps pace with the global innovation race.”

The new strategy reaffirms the Government’s commitment to increasing annual spending on R&D to £22bn. It pledges to create a more joined-up and inclusive innovation system – a commitment shared by KTN, and it proposes ‘innovation missions’ to set direction of the major challenges the UK is best placed to help solve.

KTN has played an important role in shaping the strategy by convening diverse groups of stakeholders on behalf of the Department to ensure a wide range of voices are heard. We will be working with Innovate UK, BEIS and other partners to help implement the new strategy and to ensure it is communicated, understood and becomes embedded within the innovation community.

The strategy outlines seven technologies to prioritise and build on the UK’s existing R&D strengths; – Advanced materials and Manufacturing; AI, Digital and Advanced Computing; Bioinformatics and Genomics; Engineering Biology; Electronics, Photonics and Quantum; Energy and Environment Technologies; Robotics and Smart Machines.

KTN is already prioritising many of these technologies and our teams of experts are convening and connecting innovators to drive forward new innovations for the future. From our Innovation Networks for Quantum Technology, and Robotics & AI, to our work in delivering Made Smarter – the UK’s drive to create and embed advanced digital technologies.

Dr Alicia Greated, KTN’s CEO said:

“KTN welcomes the overarching message of the BEIS UK Innovation Strategy which firmly aligns with our purpose – to drive positive change through innovation.

“To Build Back Better from Covid-19, the UK must embrace innovation.  This new strategy recognises that innovation can be a force for positive change for our society, environment and economy.  It acknowledges that discovery, invention, development and adoption are vital elements of a joined-up innovation eco-system.

“Our experience tells us that connecting the right people, to the right place, at the right time is crucial to sustainable economic growth.  As an organisation which connects innovators for positive change, KTN has a growing role to play in helping to develop a more effective innovation system in the UK.

“KTN exists to connect innovators with new partners and new opportunities beyond their existing thinking. From helping the UK to reach its Net Zero targets to creating more inclusive opportunities for innovators – our strategic priorities underpin those laid out in today’s strategy.

“It is great to see KTN recognised as an important partner supporting the strategy locally, nationally and globally. We’re looking forward to working with the teams at BEIS and Innovate UK and helping them deliver it.”

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