Science, innovation and know-how takes high seat at Cupboard desk
  • Newly created Division for Science, Innovation and Know-how (DSIT) will spur stronger progress, higher jobs and daring new discoveries, says new Secretary of State
  • Brings duty for the 5 applied sciences of tomorrow below one roof for the primary time
  • Know-how Secretary kicked off her tenure with go to and award of £40 million in funding to Rosalind Franklin Institute – only one a part of a report £20 billion annual funding backing world main innovators
Science, innovation and know-how takes high seat at Cupboard desk

Innovation has been positioned on the coronary heart of the federal government’s agenda and given a devoted seat on the Cupboard desk, the newly appointed Science, Innovation and Know-how Secretary Michelle Donelan mentioned at present (Friday 10 February 2023).

Visiting a number one medical analysis centre in Harwell, Oxford, the Secretary of State set out her plans for stronger progress, higher jobs and daring discoveries to sort out the challenges of at present and tomorrow.

Lengthy referred to as for by the tech and science sectors, the brand new Division for Science, Innovation and Know-how (DSIT) has been created to ship on the clear mission set by the Prime Minister, to make sure the UK is essentially the most progressive financial system on the planet and a science and know-how superpower.

The transfer will convey collectively the 5 applied sciences of tomorrow – quantum, AI, engineering biology, semiconductors, future telecoms – together with life sciences and inexperienced applied sciences, into one single division for the primary time.

On the go to to the Rosalind Franklin Institute, the Know-how Secretary set out how the brand new division will draw on the progressive energy of science and know-how to kickstart speedy financial progress, create high-skilled jobs in addition to bettering the general public sector and the lives of British folks.

Know-how Secretary Michelle Donelan mentioned:

Science and know-how has the potential to alter our world past recognition and enhance all our lives. 

A model new and devoted division for Science, Innovation and Know-how is essential to the Authorities’s plan to develop the financial system – producing higher, nicely paid jobs and driving enhancements in well being, training and transportation.

The brand new division has acquired a heat welcome from the science, tech and enterprise communities and it’s now my job to make use of the division to construct on our world main strengths in AI, life sciences, quantum, fintech, and inexperienced know-how to ship tangible and constructive change throughout the UK.

The Rosalind Franklin Institute, based mostly on the Harwell Campus in Oxfordshire, is on the forefront of efforts to develop new applied sciences to deal with main well being analysis challenges. It opened in September 2021, following a £103 million authorities funding in 2018.

As a part of this go to, the Secretary of State introduced £40 million extra funding for the institute, offered by UK Analysis and Innovation’s Engineering and Bodily Sciences Analysis Council. 

The applied sciences below growth on the Franklin will likely be used to deal with main challenges in well being – resembling recognizing the early indicators of degenerative illnesses, together with Alzheimer’s illness.

Researchers have already made nice progress in some areas, together with figuring out antibodies from llamas which could possibly be used as a remedy for COVID-19.

Sooner or later, utilizing actual affected person tissue samples will allow illness dynamics, drug results and diagnostics to be carried out with atomic stage perception.

Notes to editors

Additional stakeholder feedback could be discovered beneath: 

UK Analysis and innovation Chief Govt Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser mentioned:

The institution of the brand new Division for Science, Innovation and Know-how is an extremely thrilling growth, signalling the Authorities’s dedication to constructing a completely joined up analysis and innovation system.

This initiative will capitalise on our world-class expertise and expertise to ship wonderful public companies, a vibrant innovation-led financial system and high-quality jobs for residents throughout the UK. UKRI seems to be ahead to working with all our stakeholders throughout authorities and the sector to make this ambition a actuality, reworking tomorrow collectively.

The work of the Rosalind Franklin Institute is a good illustration of how we’ll ship on this ambition. The superior applied sciences being developed on the institute are reworking our understanding of life, and consequently serving to us to deal with a variety of well being challenges.

The funding within the underpinning engineering and bodily sciences analysis that we’re saying at present will assist us to diagnose circumstances resembling Alzheimer’s earlier and arm us in opposition to the menace posed by rising illnesses.

Sir Paul Nurse, Director, Francis Crick Institute, mentioned:

Making a stand-alone division for Science, Innovation and Know-how is a extremely welcome transfer in help of the federal government’s ambition to safe the UK’s place as a science superpower, and is important to result in financial progress and societal good.

Michelle Donelan and her staff ought to be supported to ship the targets of embedding science throughout authorities departments and the Cupboard, championing sustainable R&D funding, and delivering more practical help of the UK analysis endeavour.

A primary step will likely be to ship Authorities coverage to safeguard our lengthy standing and precious analysis relationships with the remainder of Europe by affiliation with Horizon Europe, which will likely be attainable if there’s settlement over the Northern Eire Protocol.

Dr Tim Bradshaw, Chief Govt, Russell Group, mentioned:

The choice to create a devoted division for science, innovation and know-how recognises the worth of our sector and its significance to rising the financial system, creating jobs, and fixing main challenges resembling power safety, inequalities and internet zero.

 >“We hope the brand new Secretary of State will take the chance offered by the Spring Finances to again the event of extra innovation clusters to create jobs and funding throughout the UK, constructed across the expertise and analysis of our world-leading universities.

International analysis collaboration may even be excessive on their record of priorities and we hope they’ll proceed to push for the UK’s affiliation to Horizon Europe and work with the sector to make sure the funding put aside for this or various schemes delivers the largest impression for the UK.

A Universities UK spokesperson mentioned:

UUK welcomes the institution of a brand new UK Authorities Division for Science, Innovation and Know-how (DSIT).

UK analysis is world main and internationally wonderful and is carried out in universities of many differing types – from large universities with broad topic areas to small, specialist establishments. This analysis makes an actual distinction to folks’s lives and helps our nationwide pursuits, develops new know-how, financial progress and jobs, and a greater understanding of the world we stay in.

We look ahead to working with DSIT, as we glance to ship joint ambitions on boosting progress and alternative throughout the entire of the UK. UUK’s current report Larger Training Analysis and Innovation in Information and Figures underlines how college analysis and innovation exercise will assist ship these ambitions by attracting funding and expertise, making world-leading discoveries, producing information, and creating and nurturing new, progressive companies and jobs throughout the UK.

As its precedence, the Division ought to proceed engagement and dialogue between UK and EU counterparts with the intention of securing full UK affiliation to Horizon Europe; enabling UK and EU researchers to proceed to work with each other on vital and mutually helpful analysis tasks.

Nicola Perrin, CEO, Affiliation of Medical Analysis Charities:

We’re glad that the Authorities has heard calls from the sector for a brand new division specializing in Science, Innovation and Know-how. Having a single science division implies that there could be a concentrate on the entire analysis ecosystem, working with all the varied companions together with universities, business and charities. We’re wanting ahead to seeing a brand new joined up method to science and innovation from Authorities.

Sir Adrian Smith, President, Royal Society, mentioned:

A devoted Division for Science, Innovation and Know-how and secretary of state with a seat in cupboard is a transparent sign that analysis and innovation sit on the coronary heart of the Prime Minister’s productiveness and progress agenda.

The Royal Society has lengthy referred to as for such a cupboard stage place. Michelle Donelan’s first job have to be to safe affiliation to Horizon Europe and different EU science programmes. These schemes help excellent worldwide collaboration and with out being a part of them we’re undermining the Prime Minister’s said ambition for the UK to be on the forefront of science and know-how globally.

Dr Daniel Rathbone, Assistant Director, Marketing campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE), mentioned:

We wish to congratulate the brand new Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Know-how, Michelle Donelan MP, on her appointment and welcome the announcement of a brand new specialised Division for Science Know-how and Innovation.

That is one other signal of the significance Authorities locations on science and innovation. It’s critical, nonetheless, that the practicalities of creating modifications in Whitehall aren’t allowed to remove from the time and assets wanted to drive ahead the promising agenda the Authorities has beforehand set out.

This new Secretary of State place will help guarantee cross-Governmental purchase in and help by championing science on the cupboard desk, whether or not that’s in funding, expertise growth, or from elsewhere. This help will likely be important in tackling the large points and uncertainty presently dealing with the sector, resembling reform of R&D tax aid system and entry to European analysis programmes.

Peter Ellingworth, CEO, Affiliation of British HealthTech Industries, mentioned:

As an organisation representing the analysis led HealthTech sector, ABHI welcomes this announcement and the main target it is going to convey on some elementary and demanding enablers of financial progress. We look ahead to working with new Division, not least to understand the ambitions of the Life Sciences Imaginative and prescient to construct on the world class science and analysis capabilities that already exists within the UK, and to make the NHS essentially the most highly effective driver of innovation on our nation.

Hetan Shah, Chief Govt, British Academy, mentioned:

The creation of a brand new Division for Science, Innovation and Know-how sounds a transparent message in regards to the worth of analysis and growth in the direction of the long-term prosperity, well being and safety of the UK and the world.

We urge the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Know-how to forge shut and collaborative hyperlinks with the newly refocused Division for Tradition, Media and Sport. The UK’s artistic industries are world main and draw closely from disciplines throughout the humanities in addition to the broader science base. These topics and people inside the social sciences play an equally vital however typically neglected function in unlocking innovation and new options.

It is a vital time for science and analysis, with pressing stay points resembling affiliation to Horizon Europe on the agenda – which we hope will likely be a precedence for the brand new Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Know-how. We welcome this Authorities’s ongoing dedication to analysis and growth. Remaining a world-leader within the social sciences and humanities will guarantee we ship financial, social and cultural advantages for the entire nation.

Tanya Sheridan, Head of Coverage and Proof, Royal Society of Chemistry, mentioned:

The creation of the brand new Division for Science, Innovation and Know-how gives a chance to place science really on the coronary heart of Authorities. We congratulate Michelle Donelan on her appointment and stand prepared to assist ministers in DSIT and different new departments, alongside Defra and others, drawing on our robust scientific neighborhood’s experience to assist handle challenges from power safety and local weather change to financial progress and wholesome ageing.

Collaboration between all authorities departments – and their many stakeholders throughout science – will likely be mandatory to realize the “science superpower” imaginative and prescient. The brand new Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Know-how ought to prioritise UK affiliation to Horizon Europe, long-term funding in analysis, making certain a welcoming surroundings for worldwide collaboration, a talented and motivated scientific workforce, and the help for progressive small and medium corporations to ship new applied sciences and drive inexperienced financial progress.

Andrew Roughan, CEO, Plexal, mentioned:

The Cupboard reshuffle and introduction of the brand new Division for Science, Innovation and Know-how is a key stepping stone in making the UK a real know-how and science superpower.  The imaginative and prescient set out by the Prime Minster in his speech at our Plexal headquarters final month is coming to life, and we’re happy to see the rhetoric is now being supported with clear motion to assist develop the UK’s innovation financial system.

We’re hopeful this new departmental construction will open up much more alternatives for the UK’s public sector to extra actively collaborate with our fast-growing and progressive startup financial system – bettering public sector companies and unlocking alternatives for rising companies.

By specializing in innovation and technological development, the Authorities is displaying a dedication to reinvent the constructions of our public sector and essentially reset them across the altering wants of the nation. Our tech financial system is amongst our strongest property, and if channelled correctly, we will use the innovation we’ve developed over the previous decade to resolve a few of the greatest societal and financial challenges we face.

The directive from the highest of presidency is obvious, and at Plexal we look ahead to working with the brand new division to unlock the complete potential of the UK’s startup ecosystem to fulfil the innovation agenda.

Russ Shaw CBE, founding father of Tech London Advocates & International Tech Advocates, mentioned:

This reshuffle is an extra indication of the Prime Minister’s focus and ambition to place science and know-how on the coronary heart of Authorities, and on the centre of progress for the UK financial system.

It is a vital political dedication to that imaginative and prescient, and a transparent doubling down on the significance Sunak locations on the UK’s know-how and innovation financial system. Having a Division for Science, Innovation and Know-how is the kind of gear change that exhibits the Prime Minister is seeking to transcend the rhetoric and ambition we’ve seen got down to date, and extra clearly commit Authorities useful resource and personnel to rising this a part of the financial system.  

Clearer concentrate on know-how and innovation from the highest down can solely be good for the UK’s thriving tech sector, and it’s vital this departmental focus is now complimented with different points that can assist develop the business – together with cooperation with worldwide tech hubs, progressive regulatory regimes and open channels to entry expertise from overseas.

Prof John Hardy, Professor of Neuroscience, UCL, mentioned:

It’s good to see a devoted put up of science minister once more and good too that it’s somebody with expertise of this space as earlier Universities’ minister.  She is undoubtedly conscious of the issues Brexit has brought on larger training and science and the significance of encouraging international college students and workers to return to the UK.  What we’d like, in addition to an understanding of those issues, is a interval of stability: ministers want to have the ability to be taught their temporary and the science and analysis portfolio specifically wants steady management moderately than musical chairs.

Tom Grinyer, Chief Govt, Institute of Physics, mentioned:

The brand new division for science, innovation and know-how with a Cupboard seat is superb information for the UK and places science and innovation precisely the place they need to be – proper on the coronary heart of presidency. We’re getting into an thrilling new period powered by science, engineering and know-how at a time when there are nice alternatives and vital selections dealing with the nation.

The IOP’s work exhibits there’s nice untapped potential in physics-powered companies, college departments and specialist analysis organisations – simply as there’s in different scientific communities throughout the nation – providing options to our best challenges and creating new sources of progress and prosperity. 

The brand new Secretary of State can and should use their Cupboard seat to work with the scientific neighborhood to take these alternatives and ensure that the Authorities’s science superpower imaginative and prescient stays on observe. It’s critical that the brand new division works hand-in-hand with different departments to ensure that science doesn’t turn out to be siloed and that there’s a genuinely joined-up method to science throughout authorities.

Professor Dame Anne Johnson, President, Academy of Medical Sciences, mentioned:

We welcome at present’s information that the Prime Minister has created a brand new Authorities Division for Science, Innovation and Know-how. Inserting science on the coronary heart of Authorities by a newly created Cupboard place is a crucial step in realising the UK’s ambitions to turn out to be a science superpower.

Within the Autumn Assertion, the Authorities reasserted its dedication to place analysis on the centre of plans for progress. Analysis and growth drives innovation, creates high-skilled jobs in high-growth industries and, importantly, improves the nation’s well being. Constructing on the Authorities’s dedication to UK R&D, we urgently must resolve and strengthen our place inside the worldwide funding panorama.

The scientific neighborhood strongly believes that affiliation to the Horizon Europe funding programme is greatest for analysis within the UK and in Europe, and can enhance well being for all. We urge the brand new Secretary of State to grab the chance to safe this final result. It would ship a powerful message that the UK is open for enterprise and stays a premier vacation spot to work on well being analysis that improves lives.

Dom Hallas, Govt Director, Coalition for a Digital Financial system, mentioned:

The creation of the brand new Division of Science, Innovation & Know-how is nice for British tech startups. There’s all the time been the necessity for an actual innovation voice in Whitehall and bringing collectively the analysis and funding from BEIS with the digital policymaking expertise from DCMS makes actual sense.

Katie Gallagher, Chair, UK Tech Cluster Group, mentioned:

It’s welcome information that the federal government has reaffirmed its dedication to supporting the tech sector at this vital juncture. Analysis in 2021 discovered that the digital sector employs round 1.66 million folks: accounting for 4.9% of all jobs. It additionally contributed £148 billion to the financial system – amounting to 7.6% of the UK complete.

As Managing Director of Manchester Digital, and in working with business and Authorities on the Digital Expertise Council, I see the vital significance of holding momentum and making certain companies can begin, develop, and innovate by know-how, whereas extra individuals are supported to construct digital careers. 

Ministers throughout authorities – together with the Secretary of State and Chancellor of their current Bloomberg speeches – have been clear as to the significance of digital tech to rising the financial system.  We look ahead to persevering with to work with them to assist ship on this agenda by constructing on success and unlocking potential in all components of the UK.’’