Business secretary Sajid Javid reveals latest plans to boost UK’s science and innovation capabilities

Hayley Kirton
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Sajid Javid has invited applications to conduct science and innovation audits across the country (Source: Getty)

We’ll soon have a clearer idea of what scientific know-how we have, as business secretary Sajid Javid today unveiled plans for a new national panel of innovation expertise alongside a regional review of the UK’s science capabilities.

Speaking at Innovate UK’s annual conference, the business secretary explained that the national panel would help to direct funding to improve the outcome of investments in innovation.

He also invited applicants from across the country to conduct science and innovation audits for their region. These audits will map research and innovation strengths, highlight areas with competitive advantages and provide an evidence base for decisions about innovation.

The move is the next step in plans to make Britain the best place to innovate in Europe. The government has committed to invest almost £7bn in science capital up to 2021.

Javid said: “The UK is embracing new technologies and leading the world in innovation, but we must not be complacent and must look to the long term future of research and development to support our jobs and industries.

“As a one nation government we want every region of the UK to maximise opportunity for its local people through its innovation strengths, and the new science and innovation audits will ensure that public investment is doing just that. By taking stock of our assets and supporting best practice and expertise, we will propel the UK to the forefront of the global innovation race.”

The business secretary also revealed plans for a new Smart Specialisation hub, which would see experts, businesses, universities, investors and Innovate UK’s Catapult networks working together to share best practice.

Here's how much the UK has invested in research and development over the last few years:

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