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Innovate UK delivery plan in 2 numbers & 3 images

Innovate UK published their 2016-17 delivery plan this week and in my view one of the key changes is perhaps best illustrated by two numbers and three images.


the number of pages in the 2014-15 Innovate UK delivery plan


the number of pages in the 2016-17 Innovate UK delivery plan

Depiction of core spend in the 2014-15 delivery plan

2014-15 innovate uk plan

in the 2015-16 delivery plan

2015-16 innovate uk

and in the 2016-17 delivery plan

2016-17 innovate Uk plan


The first finding of last year’s Dowling Review was that public support for the innovation system is too complex, recommending that Government, including Innovate UK, work to simplify the system where possible, and that every effort should be made to ‘hide the wiring’ from businesses and academics seeking support. If the delivery plan is anything to go by, it looks like the Innovate UK team, led by Ruth McKernan, are getting on with it.

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A closer look at the Spending Review research budget figures

CaSE policy intern, Joanna Scales, has spent some time analysing the figures for the resource and capital budgets announced in the recent Spending Review. We consider here what the outlook for the next parliament is far as spending on science is concerned. You can read more of our commentary on the spending review announcements here.

The key points regarding the research budget are:

  • The £4.7bn flat cash resource funding budget will be protected in real terms until 2019/20.
  • The difference between flat cash and real terms will be bridged by £1.5bn from the ODA (Official Development Assistance) budget held in DfID. The £1.5bn covers the period 2016/17 to 2020/21, whereas the rest of the resource budget is only confirmed up until the end of this Parliament in 2019/20.
  • The capital budget will receive an investment of £6.9bn between 2015/16 and 2020/21.
  • Totalling the resource and capital budgets together the research base budget in 2019/20 will be £6.3bn, rising from £5.8bn in 2015/16.
  • The Innovate UK budget will be maintained in cash terms.

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How long can science run without batteries?

Being less than a week away from the publication of the Spending Review, the science and engineering community is drowning in suspense and uncertainty. And let’s be honest, “A country that lives within its means” isn’t exactly an optimistic title for the document that will define the research and innovation atmosphere for the next five years. Read More »

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‘Is the world flat?’ A question from Manchester policy week

To many onlookers, a ‘flat cash’ settlement in the forthcoming Spending Review would be a pretty good result for UK science. They may be right, in the context of a worryingly tight fiscal round, that it might be. But there are many – particularly in UK science – who think it would be a disaster.

This was the context for a seminar held by CaSE at the University of Manchester’s Policy Week earlier this month. Speaking alongside Naomi Weir of CaSE, Graeme Reid of CaSE and UCL, Andrew Miller, former Chair of the Science and Technology Committee and Andrew Jones of AstraZeneca, we discussed what we thought might happen in the Spending Review, why we thought it would happen and what that would mean for science over the longer term. Read More »

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Science funding needs to be under the microscope

As the Government approaches the 2015 Spending Review, it is important that we argue the case for science spending to be, at the very least, maintained at its present levels. The investment of public money in research drives the investment of private R&D money in the UK. It is a pool of scientific, engineering and medical excellence that keeps multinational companies like GSK and innovative engineering firms such as Rolls-Royce in the UK, not a sense of national loyalty. At a time when many other developed nations are increasing their budgets for scientific research, we risk our pool becoming smaller. Read More »

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Investment in UK science – it’s a team effort

The British Heart Foundation is the largest independent funder of cardiovascular research in the UK, funding around £100 million of new research each year. This research is helping us to understand why heart disease occurs, how to diagnose it more quickly and treat it more effectively. Read More »

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Arthritis Research UK; Three asks for the Chancellor

The 2015 Spending Review was always expected to be tough, as Government looks to find consolidation measures totalling £37 billion and reach a budget surplus by 2020. Recent events have, however, been unexpected – not least the stance of the House of Lords in delaying changes worth £4.4 billion to tax credits. But whether or not the outcome on 25 November matches our expectations, we must continue to be clear on our hopes. Our three asks for the Chancellor are aimed at achieving better quality of life for people with arthritis, alongside economic benefit. Read More »

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Moves to reduce immigration will affect science and engineering

My guess is that bidding for a research grant is ultimately no different to submitting for any piece of work. Your prospective client needs to see you have the best people and ideas available and can deliver the right results at a reasonable price.

If you are bidding for a grant and want a foreign scientist next year, you may need to think again about the people or the price.

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Times are hard, but science and engineering matter

In a few weeks time we shall know the outcome of the Government’s spending review, and for most areas of the economy it won’t be pretty.   Ever since financial crash of 2008, instigated by reckless lending by the banks, the overriding thrust of public policy has been to reduce and control the public sector deficit.  Science and innovation have weathered the storm better than some areas so far, partly thanks to good work by successive science ministers, but there are no guarantees for the future. Read More »

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Digging deep, aiming high; supporting UK geophysics and astronomy

It’s (almost) always about the money

The cycle of spending reviews has become very familiar. A budget sets out headlines, rumours of deep cuts follow, before we see outcomes a little better than expected, and the science community breathes a deep sigh of relief. Read More »

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S&T Committee Chairs’ letter to Sajid Javid

Yesterday, past and present Chairs of the House of Lords and House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committees wrote to the Business Secretary, Sajid Javid, urging him to increase spending on the Science Budget and to support innovative businesses. They also cautioned against rushed reorganisations of funding structures that could have unforeseen and negative consequences.

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Investing in Innovation

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Sowing the seeds of science for our future

2015 feels like it may end up being a watershed year for the environment.

When science and politics come together in harmony, great things can be achieved. The Paris climate summit at the end of the year will coincide with the impact of the most significant El Nino event since 1950 starting to be felt. The UN released human population growth projections, estimating an additional billion people inhabiting our planet by 2030, and also agreed 17 new Sustainable Development Goals. Read More »

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Vaccines: a good buy for health and science

When the Treasury published its guidance on the upcoming Comprehensive Spending Review in July in a document entitled A country that lives within its means their aims were immediately clear: tight fiscal discipline. In other words, major reductions in the budgets of many central government departments.

Some budgets have been protected, and this includes health. The threat is therefore focussed on unprotected budgets – which includes money that is distributed to life sciences research through the Research Councils. Any reduction in science spending would be disastrous not just for this generation of scientists but for those yet to come as many, including CaSE, have argued so eloquently. The ultimate impact on the UK’s prosperity is a genuine worry since spending on research and education have been shown to pay off handsomely. Read More »

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Four reasons why the Government needs to keep spending money on science

Cancer Research UK is the world’s largest independent cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research. Last year we spent £434 million on research in institutes, hospitals and universities across the UK, supporting research into all aspects of cancer through the work of over 4,000 scientists, doctors and nurses.

Our pioneering work has been at the heart of the progress that has already seen survival rates in the UK double in the last forty years. Read More »

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Science is under threat again and we need your help!

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A message from the front-line of R&D

2,079 members responded to the union’s survey in June: A highly qualified and age diverse group, including 27% women.  Just over a third of responses came from the civil service, with a similar number from the private sector and the remainder from members in a range of other organisations including charities, research institutes, public-private partnerships and universities. Read More »

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It’s the Treasury’s season, but its dominance may not last forever

Perhaps Lord Bob Kerslake’s critical examination of the Treasury will lead to that department losing its power and preponderance – and making spending reviews like the exercise being conducted this autumn things of the past. Read More »

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Continuing to champion UK universities

London is the most popular city in the world for international students. We currently play host to 40,000 from continental Europe and 67,000 from the rest of the world. They enrich the city and country by sharing their cultures and becoming friends of Britain in ways that boost our diplomatic and trade links in future years. Read More »

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If science fights alone, it might be a losing battle

You have to talk in fiscal terms about the economic growth that science brings, and there’s plenty of evidence to back that up. It’s to make the case for investing in science, rather than in listening to the public, or thinking creatively and emotionally about what science can give us. It’s about marketing the product, rather than understanding how it was created. Read More »

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