Learn more about our new series exploring the institutions at the forefront of UK innovation policy.
The past few years have seen substantial change across the UK's innovation landscape, with the creation and merging of departments, formation of new agencies and offices, and transfer of remits and responsibilities.
In March 2021, the Government published the Integrated Review. This set out the UK's high-level approach to national security and international policy whilst stating the Prime Minister's ambition to have secured the UK's status as a Science and Tech Superpower by 2030. techUK has since explored what this vision means in practice, holding events, publishing insights, and organising a Supercharging Innovation campaign week (this September) ahead of a summit in November.
On the back of the Integrated Review, the Government established a new Office for Science and Technology Strategy with the aim of supporting the National Science and Technology Council and National Technology Adviser to drive forward Whitehall's science and technology priorities from the centre. This was closely followed by the publication of the UK Innovation Strategy, which techUK held a follow-up webinar on a year later.
Then, in March 2022, the Government announced a £39.8bn R&D budget for 2022-2025 - the largest ever - to deliver on the 2021 Innovation Strategy and achieve its ambition to increase total R&D investment to 2.4% of GDP by 2027.
And in February of this year, a machinery of government change saw the merger of DSIT and BEIS, resulting in the creation of a dedicated department for innovation in the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT). The department has since published the International Technology Strategy and Science & Technology Framework, both of which underpin its work.
Despite these changes, many institutions have continued to operate as normal, including UKRI and Innovate UK, the Government Office for Science, the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (created in 2018), the Advanced Research and Invention Agency (created in 2020 and later the subject of a techUK webinar on how its CEO can drive forward success), and the British Business Bank.