The UK Government has promised to increase spending on research and development to 2.4% of GDP by 2027. Understanding who needs the investment and then making sure it reaches the right people and places is a complex task in itself, let alone in the context of a global pandemic that has put the UK’s economy into a recession.
But even before the pandemic, the UK was behind its counterparts in its attitude to investing in innovation. There is already a growing gap in UK productivity, with rates of productivity significantly slowing since 2008 and showing no change in direction. To level up the economy, investment in innovation activity is needed all over the UK, creating a roadmap to a better, more inclusive tomorrow. This will stimulate growth, driving cities’ economies forward and closing the productivity gap. Within 20 years, each UK region should have a world-class centre of research excellence, but to achieve this investment and spend must be rebalanced. By doing this, we can focus on making scientific excellence – a pillar of innovation – sustainable in the long term, in places outside of our traditional research centres.
Bruntwood SciTech, the UK’s leading property company dedicated to driving the growth of the science and technology sector and a joint venture between Bruntwood and Legal & General, has commissioned a report, called Place Matters: Innovation and Growth in the UK, to help central and local government leaders drive forward innovation as a means to aid economic recovery in the wake of COVID-19.