15 March 2022

Government announces plans for largest ever R&D budget

The UK Government has confirmed how the £39.8 billion R&D budget will be allocated across the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) partner organisations for 2022–2025.


Described by Government as the ‘largest ever’ R&D budget it is intended to help to drive the Government’s ambition to make the UK a ‘science superpower’ in the global sphere. The announcement supports Government’s commitment to guarantee total R&D spending reaches 2.4% of GDP by 2027 as set out in the Innovation Strategy announced in July 2021.

IOM3 CEO Colin Church CEnv FIMMM, said ‘The UK Government’s ambition to expand R&D funding is very welcome and it is good to see clarity on the funding envelope for the next few years. Materials, minerals and mining are essential for the transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient society and, as clearly recognised in the recent Innovation Strategy, materials in their widest sense underpin the health and wealth of the UK. IOM3 therefore looks forward to seeing funding for research in these areas grow to support this work.’

The Government claims these investments will support priorities that are key to the UK’s prosperity, from tackling climate change to levelling up opportunities across the country, enabling investment in new technologies from clean tech to artifical intelligence.

A breakdown of the funding includes:

  • £6.8 billion allocated to support the UK’s association with Horizon Europe, Euratom Research & Training, and Fusion for Energy.
  • UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) will receive more than £25 billion across the next 3 years, reaching more than £8.8 billion in 2024–25. This includes an increase in funding for core Innovate UK programmes by 66% to £1.1 billion in 2024-25
  • The UK Space Agency’s budget will also grow to more than £600 million by 2024–25
  • R&D outside the greater South East will receive at least 55% of BEIS domestic R&D budget

Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng in a statement said, ‘For too long, R&D spending in the UK has trailed behind our neighbours - and in this country, science and business have existed in separate spheres. I am adamant that this must change. Now is the moment to unleash British science, technology and innovation to rise to the challenges of the 21st century.’