Theresa May pledges £2bn a year for research and development

Prime Minister Theresa May has pledged £2 billion of additional investment per year for science and technology research and development (R&D) by the end of this Parliament. The funding will […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Prime Minister Theresa May has pledged £2 billion of additional investment per year for science and technology research and development (R&D) by the end of this Parliament.

The funding will be focused on fields such as artificial intelligence, industrial biotechnology and advanced materials manufacturing, all believed to be vital as the UK moves towards a low carbon economy.

Speaking at the Confederation of British Industries’ (CBI) annual conference, Ms May said the UK has “gold-standard” universities but isn’t strong enough in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and technical education “isn’t good enough”.

She also announced a review of current R&D tax incentives to ensure global competitiveness of the UK as a home for scientists, innovators and tech investors.

The Prime Minister added: “We will commit to substantial real terms increases in government investment in R&D – investing an extra £2 billion a year by the end of this Parliament to help put post-Brexit Britain at the cutting edge of science and tech.

“A new Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund will direct some of that investment to scientific research and the development of a number of priority technologies in particular, helping to address Britain’s historic weakness on commercialisation and turning our world-leading research into long term success.”

The announcement comes ahead of the Autumn Statement tomorrow.