The Royal Academy of Engineering welcomes today’s government announcement of an increase in research and development funding, coupled with a new fund to improve transport connections and boost productivity.

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

“I welcome today’s announcement of increased funding for research and development. The engineering profession has called for this investment for some time, along with the other UK National Academies. It is crucial to achieve an investment target of 2.4% GDP in R&D, drawn from both public and private sectors, and to break down the silos between industry sectors to enable innovation and collaboration between academia and industry on emerging technologies.

“Engineering is a vital part of our economy, contributing over 20% of gross value added and accounting for half our exports. Public investment in R&D leverages private investment, which we must then translate into productive businesses. This will increase our competitiveness on the world stage, sending out a signal that the UK aims to be the best in the world, whilst also benefiting regions within the UK.

“Next week’s Industrial Strategy white paper will mark a key stage in the development of a transformative strategy to ensure the prosperity of the UK economy. This will set the terms for a long-term commitment to stimulate and retain industrial investment from within the UK and abroad. The engineering profession stands ready to support the delivery of a modern industrial strategy that works for the whole of the UK.”

Notes for Editors

1.    There is broad consensus across the political spectrum to increase total investment in UK research and development. The Government has committed to meet a target of 2.4% of GDP invested in UK R&D within ten years, and a longer-term goal of 3%.

The UK National Academies have produced a document outlining the current R&D investment landscape in the UK, why a 3% target is important for the UK and factors that should be considered to deliver it.

2.    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

T: 020 7766 0636;

E:  Jane Sutton