Academy welcomes Prime Minister’s focus on research and innovation

Published:  20 June, 2018

The Royal Academy of Engineering has welcomed the Prime Minister’s recent speech setting out a central role for research and innovation at the heart of the government’s industrial strategy, and reinforcing the goal for research and development investment to reach 2.4% of GDP by 2027.

The Royal Academy of Engineering says that Industry, government and academia need to work together to ensure successful integration of the strategy across government departments and sectors of industry to support the four missions identified: AI and data, healthy ageing, future of mobility and clean growth. In addition, the Academy welcomed the government’s continued recognition of the value that the UK derives from EU programme collaborations and the government’s ambition to achieve a deep research and innovation partnership with the EU. Remaining open to leading international researchers and engineers will be essential for delivering the industrial strategy.

Professor Dame Ann Dowling OM DBE FREng FRS, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, commented: “I am delighted that the Prime Minister is giving her personal backing to UK science and engineering and particularly to emerging technologies as part of the Industrial Strategy. It is vital that we create a culture of confidence amongst Britain’s world-leading researchers and engineers and provide sustained, long-term support for innovation-led companies that boost the economy and provide well paid and rewarding jobs.

“Engineering has already driven many valuable advances in healthcare, from surgical robots and MRI scanners to polymers that control the delivery of drugs, and demonstrates how innovation can transform excellent research into products and services that improve people's lives. Emerging technologies like genomics and artificial intelligence for diagnostics present an unparalleled opportunity to build on that progress.

“Any investment in new technologies must also be matched with the development of appropriate regulatory frameworks and urgent action to address the UK’s engineering skills and diversity shortfall. We stand ready to work with government and industry to address these challenges, drawing on the expertise of our Fellowship.”

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