Government announces Innovation Strategy

. increase annual public investment on RD to a record £22 billion;

. ensure government procurement is proactive and supportive, providing a route to market for innovative new products and services.

. consult on how regulation can ensure that the UK is well-placed to extract the best value from innovation;

. commission the Regulatory Horizons Council to consider how best to support innovation through regulation, including looking whether there are a set of high-level guiding principles for regulation that may apply broadly to any sector of innovation;

. introduce new High Potential Individual and Scale-up visa routes, and revitalise the Innovator route to attract and retain high-skilled, globally mobile innovation talent;

. undertake an independent review to assess landscape of UK organisations undertaking all forms of research, development and innovation;

. reduce complexity for innovative companies by developing an online finance and innovation hub between Innovate UK and the British Business Bank within the next 12 months;

. expand IP education programme for researchers and launch International IP Services to bolster innovative companies’ and researchers’ ability to confidently collaborate, export and invest overseas.

. publish a new action plan on ‘Standards for the Fourth Industrial Revolution’, promoting standards that enable innovation to flourish;

. invest £200 million through the British Business Bank’s Life Sciences Investment Programme to target the growth-stage funding gap faced by UK life science companies;

. support 30,000 senior managers of small and medium sized businesses through Help to Grow: Management to boost their business’s performance, resilience, and long-term growth.

The Strategy identifies areas where the UK has globally competitive RD and industrial strength and that will transform our economy in the future – Advanced materials and Manufacturing; AI, Digital and Advanced Computing; Bioinformatics and Genomics; Engineering Biology; Electronics, Photonics and Quantum; Energy and Environment Technologies; Robotics and Smart Machines.

The Business Secretary has asked Innovate UK and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to operationalise this strategy.

The government will work with universities and other research organisations, charities, Catapults, public sector research establishments and research and innovation institutes who will all play a key role in implementation of the Strategy.

As part of efforts to ensure innovative business across the UK can capitalise on these strengths, five pioneering projects will receive a share of £127 million through the Strength in Places Fund, delivered by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI):

In the North of England, £22.6 million will help the Advanced Machinery Productivity Initiative to drive innovation for the UK’s advanced machinery manufacturers to put them at the cutting edge of emerging technologies such as robotics.

In the Midlands, £18.3 million is being awarded to the Midlands Industrial Ceramics Group to improve manufacturing processes in advanced ceramics. The funding will help to make ceramics manufacturing to become more energy-efficient, faster and cheaper.

In Scotland and Cumbria, £21.3 million of funding will be awarded to the Digital Dairy Value-Chain project which will create a more sustainable dairy industry by combining digital communications and advanced manufacturing.

In Wales, the project will bring together UK broadcasters, small local businesses and freelancers to research and develop new products and services for global markets thanks to £22.2 million of funding from the fund.

In Northern Ireland, £42.4 million will help the Smart Nano NI project to speed up the development of new nano-scale optical components to power our future digital devices.

In addition to the Strength in Places Fund, £25 million of funding for the Connecting Capability Fund will help drive further economic growth through university-business innovation, and eight new Prosperity Partnerships will establish business-led research projects harnessing the power of science and engineering to develop transformational new technologies that benefit companies, with £59 million of industry, university and government investment.