The Science and Technology Committee’s report on a UK science and technology strategy has concluded that there is an urgent need to develop an implementation plan for the Government’s science and technology ambitions to prevent them from becoming empty slogans.
The report found that the Government has significant ambitions for science and technology that recognise their importance to the UK’s societal health and economic prosperity. These include the aim to become a “science and tech superpower” by 2030, the target to boost spending on R&D to 2.4% of GDP by 2027; and a significant increase in public funding for R&D.
However, the Committee was concerned that the potential of UK science and technology to contribute to a high-tech, high-growth economy may not be fulfilled, due to the lack of an implementation plan. The report calls for the next administration to maintain the commitment to R&D funding and the focus on science and technology.
The Committee recommended that the Government better define its science and technology strategy by setting out what it wants to achieve in its priority areas, consolidating existing strategies and introducing measurable targets with a clear implementation plan. The Committee also recommended that the Government should set out its specific reforms to areas such as public procurement, regulations and R&D tax credits, explaining how they will support innovation.