The Prime Minister has today announced a major new programme of investment in research and innovation to support the development of a comprehensive industrial strategy for the UK. The Royal Academy of Engineering welcomes this demonstration of confidence in the engineering, science and technology sectors, whose outputs are vital to the country’s future economic growth and continued global competitiveness.

Professor Dame Ann Dowling OM DBE FREng FRS, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, says:

“I am delighted to see the government’s stated aims of building an effective industrial strategy for the UK realised in this morning’s announcement of increased investment in research and innovation, including a new Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to accelerate the growth of important engineering technologies, such as robotics and biotechnology. Together with the UK’s other national academies, we have been consistent in making the case for such investment in the future of our country and I’m pleased to see that the Prime Minister is signalling a similar ambition. Engineering is essential to delivering the economic and productivity gains associated with investment in research, creating wealth, improving lives and driving economic and social progress. Our Enterprise Hub, which supports the country’s most promising engineering entrepreneurs from start up to scale up, was established in 2013 in recognition of the crucial importance to our economy of fostering engineering innovation.

“The Academy has consistently championed the benefits of an industrial strategy for the UK, and a study that we led on behalf of the engineering profession, published in October, concluded that a renewed focus on industrial strategy is vital to enable us to continue to compete on the world stage after we leave the European Union. Engineering contributes at least 20% of the UK’s gross value added and accounts for half our exports, so the Prime Minister’s announcements today are a very positive step towards making Britain one of the best places in the world to research, innovate and build a business.”

Today’s announcement by the Prime Minister is a welcome response to a statement last week by the UK’s National Academies calling for research and innovation to form the heart of the industrial strategy. Open for Business emphasised the need to cement the UK’s reputation as a world-leading destination for research, innovation and adopting new technologies and to create the workforce of the future, giving every UK citizen the opportunity to be part of our future growth.

Notes for Editors

Last month, the UK engineering industry, representing over 450,000 engineers and led by the Royal Academy of Engineering, published a report urging the government to use the industrial strategy as an opportunity to show global leadership, in partnership with academia and industry. Engineering a future outside the UK: securing the best outcome for the UK highlights the UK’s strengths in attracting foreign direct investment and calls for a forward-looking industrial strategy that demonstrates the UK is an active and welcoming partner for the international research, innovation and business communities.

Royal Academy of Engineering

As the UK’s national academy for engineering, we bring together the most successful and talented engineers for a shared purpose: to advance and promote excellence in engineering. We provide analysis and policy support to promote the UK’s role as a great place to do business. We take a lead on engineering education and we invest in the UK’s world-class research base to underpin innovation. We work to improve public awareness and understanding of engineering. We are a national academy with a global outlook.

We have four strategic challenges:

  • Make the UK the leading nation for engineering innovation
  • Address the engineering skills crisis
  • Position engineering at the heart of society
  • Lead the profession

For more information, please contact Jane Sutton at the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Tel: 020 7766 0636