Research and Development

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 16th October 2018.

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Photo of Jack Brereton Jack Brereton Conservative, Stoke-on-Trent South 12:00 am, 16th October 2018

What steps he is taking to increase levels of investment in research and development.

Photo of Sam Gyimah Sam Gyimah Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Higher Education), Minister of State (Education)

Research and development plays a vital role in improving productivity and helping us to expand our global opportunities. The Government are investing an additional £7 billion in R&D funding by 2022—this is the biggest increase in public funding. Our ambition is also to increase total R&D spend to 2.4% of our GDP by 2027, and 3% in the long term.

Photo of Jack Brereton Jack Brereton Conservative, Stoke-on-Trent South

I thank the Minister for his response. Does he agree that the development of an advanced ceramics research park in Stoke-on-Trent would be a significant addition to the UK’s R&D capabilities?

Photo of Sam Gyimah Sam Gyimah Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Higher Education), Minister of State (Education)

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. I understand that my colleague, the Under-Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, my hon. Friend Richard Harrington, is meeting with him and leaders from the ceramics sector on 24 October regarding its proposal for future investment. I wish them all the best.

Photo of Chris Elmore Chris Elmore Opposition Whip (Commons)

The Minister may be aware that there is a need for more research and development funding for geothermal energy projects, which I have previously raised with the energy Minister. Will he set out what additional funding he will give to get more projects in line, such as the one in Caerau in my constituency?

Photo of Sam Gyimah Sam Gyimah Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Higher Education), Minister of State (Education)

I commend the hon. Gentleman on what has been done so far. As I said, a record increase of funding is available for research and development, mainly through UK Research and Innovation. We also have the industrial strategy challenge fund, but in all that, we are looking for projects that are cost-effective and if those become available, we will be happy to fund them.