To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has plans to increase Government funding to support the STEM research sector; and what recent assessment he has made of the effect of such Government funding on changes in the number of highly skilled people working in that sector.
Through our modern Industrial Strategy we have committed to the highest R&D increase on record. We have announced increases in public R&D spending worth £7bn up to 2021/2022, and we are working with UK Research and Innovation and other key partners to develop a roadmap that sets out how government and industry will work together to reach our target of increasing R&D investment to 2.4% of GDP by 2027, which would be the highest recorded level, and 3% in the longer-term.
The Government recognises that to make best use of this increased level of investment in science we will need to increase the number of researchers and strengthen the pipeline leading to research careers. Though it is too early to assess the impacts of these new programmes we are addressing this need through such programmes as UK Research and Innovation’s £900m Future Leaders Fellowship which aims to attract the best researchers from the UK and from around the world.