Russell Group response to the 2020 Budget

11 March 2020

Commenting on the Government’s 2020 Budget, Chief Executive of the Russell Group, Tim Bradshaw, said:

“The Government has rightly prioritised its response to Covid-19 with immediate support for the NHS and to protect people and businesses. Universities are also deep into contingency planning and implementation work – and students and staff are our number one priority as the outbreak develops. However, it is good news the Budget was also able to outline plans for future investment that will deliver a solid foundation for long-term growth and prosperity.

“The Prime Minister had already set out his intention to double R&D spending to £18bn over the next five years. The big additional increase announced today is a serious statement of intent from the Government and a major win for science. Investment on this scale is a game changer that will help maintain the UK’s position as an international leader in research. We understand that £850 million in additional new funding for R&D will be made available for the coming financial year, which is a great start. Looking ahead, the £22 billion per year commitment by 2024-25 should allow the UK to associate fully to Horizon Europe as part of our Global Britain ambitions.

“It’s also important this extra funding is invested effectively. Long-term, low bureaucracy investment in people and ideas through quality-related “QR” research funding and its equivalents across the UK must be a priority. We will also be challenging the Government to cover more of the full economic costs of research it funds while ensuring all regions and nations benefit from the increased investment announced today.”

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