Response to PM speech at CBI

21 November 2016

Responding to the Prime Minister’s CBI speech today, Director General of the Russell Group, Dr Wendy Piatt, said:

“We welcome the Prime Minister’s announcement of a real terms increase in investment in research and development worth £2 billion per year by 2020. Our universities produce world-class research which boosts productivity, drives efficiency savings, saves lives and creates innovative high-growth businesses and highly-skilled jobs.

“The UK is a world-leader in innovation and university-business collaboration, and our comparative advantage derives from excellent research within our world-class universities. We identified at least £21 billion worth of economic benefits from just a sample of research projects at our universities – a return of £100 for every £1 of initial investment. Their strength and success should be integral to the formulation of the new Industrial Strategy over the coming months.

“We look forward to hearing more detail on the Government’s commitment to increased investment in R&D and the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund in the Autumn Statement this week”

Notes to editors

  1. Our briefing Putting universities at the heart of the Industrial Strategy sets out how best to support our world-leading universities:
  • A roadmap to increase public and private sector investment in research to 3% of GDP.
  • A guarantee that high cost subjects such as Science, Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) are properly resourced to meet the skills needs of a modern economy.
  • To encourage innovation by boosting HEIF and proof of concept funding.
  • Creating a new fund to back university and industry consortia while using the tax system to stimulate investment and university-business collaboration.

  1. Our report Engines of Growth: the impact of research at Russell Group universities and accompanying film highlight how research from Russell Group universities generates billions of pounds in returns to the UK economy, has an impressive impact on the health and quality of life of the nation and contributes to our rich cultural life and heritage.


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