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Interdisciplinary Research Centre

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee is conducting an inquiry into the Government’s plans to deliver a UK science and technology strategy.

Professor Sir Richard Friend FRS, FREng presented to the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee, as a part of its Inquiry on the UK science and technology strategy.

The Government announced its intention in developing the UK as a “science and technology superpower”, with  its intention to increase research and development funding to 2.4% of GDP by 2027, including £22bn of public money by 2026/7. It has recently established the National Science and Technology Council as a cabinet subcommittee and the Office of Science and Technology Strategy.

The Council has identified four areas for UK science and technology to prioritise:

  • health and life sciences
  • sustainable environment
  • digital and data-driven economy
  • defence, security and space

Sir Richard presented (at 11:22:58) alongside Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser (Chief Executive Officer, UK Research and Innovation), The Lord Browne of Madingley (Co-Chair, Council for Science and Technology) and Dr Beth Mortimer (Royal Society University Research Fellow, University of Oxford). 

View the video (1h 6m) at

The Government is also reviewing various aspects of the science and technology system, from the Sir Paul Nurse Review into the UK’s research and innovation landscape to the Sir David Grant Review of the operation of UKRI. Establishing these bodies, identifying four priorities and conducting these reviews, demonstrates an attempt by Government to take a strategic approach to science and technology. But there are uncertainties about what such a strategy will mean in practice, how it will be implemented and whether the UK’s research and innovation system can deliver on the Government’s ambitions.