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Tech Nation calls for R&D cuts to be spared

Amidst concerns that R&D might be cut, we are urging the Government that R&D funding must be protected to help drive an innovation-led recovery and economy.

We need to see a recommitment to the 2021 Conservative government spending review pledge to increase funding for R&D by £5bn to £20bn a year by 2024-5.

A report from the IPPR last week suggests the UK lags £62 billion behind in R&D, with investment falling by a fifth since 2014 and with the UK now placing just 11th in the OECD in terms of total R&D investment as a percentage of GDP, well behind countries like Austria, Switzerland and the USA.

We are entering an era where we have a number of emerging technologies approaching tipping points as costs drop, unleashing demand across sectors and spawning more innovation.

UK deep tech investment has increased 33x since 2011, topping $8.5bn in 2021 where megarounds of over $250mn contributed heavily to the total. There has been rapid growth in investor appetite for deep tech, but growth remains nascent compared to opportunity. It is imperative we match the rhetoric ambition of making the UK a ‘forward facing, science superpower’ with the R&D commitment needed to achieve this.

Deep Technology scaleups push the boundaries of research & science. A symptom of their nature is they take longer to commercialise, and with this in mind we must provide more support to help them continue disrupting markets.

COP27 focuses the mind; new technology development is critical for solving acute global challenges such as carbon reduction and climate change, and deep tech will be an ever more essential component of the tech ecosystem.

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