On the 2016 Autumn Statement, a new National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF) was announced, promising “£23 billion in high-value investment” over the next six years. One of the spending areas targeted by the NPIF was research and development (R&D). The 2016 Autumn Statement promised:
“£4.7 billion to enhance the UK’s position as a world leader in science and innovation”
This policy is a promise to deliver on that announcement.
- R&D expenditure rose by £1.6 billion in 2017, an increase of 4.8%
- R&D expenditure in 2017 represented 1.69% of gross domestic product (GDP), up from 1.67% in 2016
So the promise to increase investment was being met.
In the 2017 Autumn Budget, the government extended the NPIF into 2022-23 and increased the size of the fund to £31 billion. That suggests an even longer-term commitment to increased investment in R&D.
This was a pledge to follow through on a spending commitment made by the previous government, and the evidence seems to show that the current government has done just that. This policy is ‘done’.
Develop your research – get the details!
- Autumn Statement 2016 – Gov.uk
- Gross domestic expenditure on research and development, UK: 2017 – Office for National Statistics
- Autumn Budget 2017 – Gov.uk
- How Much Does Your Country Invest in R&D? – UNESCO Institute for Statistics