Professor Dame Ann Dowling OM DBE FREng FRS, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, says:
“We welcome the government’s commitment to increasing levels of research and development spending to at least 2.4% of GDP by 2027. This is essential if the UK’s world-leading engineering research and innovation base is to reach its full potential and deliver economic and societal benefits. The government should prioritise developing a roadmap setting out how this target will be achieved as outlined in the National Engineering Policy Centre’s recent publication Engineering priorities for our future economy and society. Reaching the target will require a significant boost in public funding and an environment that encourages further private sector investment, as well as international engagement. EU research and innovation programmes have made a vital contribution to the success of the UK’s research and innovation base and a no-deal Brexit could dramatically reduce our chances of being able to participate in these programmes.
“While the announcement of £400 million of investment in further education is also welcome, the government must commit to significant increases in future spending plans if it is to meet its ambitions for our further education system, which is currently so significantly underfunded.
“The commitment of £30 million in additional funding to accelerate development of decarbonisation schemes is a small but positive step towards meeting the government’s ambitious decarbonisation targets. We look forward to seeing further details as the government takes the measures necessary to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.”