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Russell Group urges Government not to miss opportunity to advance research and development potential in Autumn Statement


The Russell Group has laid out necessary steps for the Government to take to harness the full potential of UK universities’ research and development potential in its submission to the Autumn Statement.

In a letter to the Chancellor, the organisation, which represents 24 leading research-intensive universities, noted that the Government’s work to secure association to Horizon Europe had been extremely welcome and that there were further steps to be taken to ensure the most is made from it and open up further R&D opportunities.

Highlighting the significance of the connection to Horizon Europe, the organisation outlined how several simple actions, if implemented swiftly, could build on this momentous achievement and not only help avoid a potential R&D underspend for this financial year but also secure millions of pounds for the UK economy. The actions included:

  • Investment to ensure high rates of participation in Horizon Europe
  • Investment to leverage university capability to drive AUKUS pillar 2
  • Investment to strengthen UK-Germany research

In addition, the Russell Group reflected on the risk associated with producing such world-renowned research and called for the Government to take the Autumn Statement as an opportunity to build on the steps universities have taken in recent years to assess and manage security risks by enhancing the capacity of universities to protect this important national asset. To this end, the submission called for the creation of a UK Research Security Fund to disrupt hostile attempts to interfere in the UK’s world-leading university research, realising a central aim of the Integrated Review Refresh and Defending Democracy Taskforce.

You can read the full submission on The Russell Group’s website.

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