Press release: UK commits to international partnerships to meet shared challenges and drive growth

  • International Research and Innovation Strategy launched to ensure the UK remains a global leader in science
  • £4 million funding competitions to help pioneers get their new innovations to market
  • addressing the Global Innovation Summit in Manchester, Science Minister underlines the importance of international science collaboration, as part of our modern Industrial Strategy

Future international research and innovation collaborations between our people, our organisations and institutions, and our innovative businesses are vital to the UK’s future prosperity, the UK’s Science Minister Chris Skidmore said today (14 May).

Addressing the EUREKA Global Innovation Summit, in Manchester, the Minister announced the publication of the UK’s new International Research and Innovation Strategy. It underlines the UK’s commitment to worldwide partnerships, as part of the modern Industrial Strategy ambition to make sure the UK remains a world leader in emerging technologies.

Science Minister Chris Skidmore said:

In future, our businesses won’t just be entering new markets – they’ll be making them. We are living through enormous technological, social and environmental change.

Science and innovation have no borders, and this new Strategy reflects our aspirations to see the UK draw systemically on research and innovation collaboration to build its economic growth while tackling global challenges. We’ve already backed this ambition by committing £7 billion over 5 years by 2022.

The success of British businesses and research organisations shows our international influence when it comes to collaboration, demonstrating our commitment to the challenges that we all share.

The UK is determined to remain a global leader in science, research and innovation and aim to boost investment to 2.4% of GDP in R&D, the biggest ever increase, through our modern Industrial Strategy.

He announced a £4 million funding competition for UK participation in EUREKA projects that aim to get innovations to market quicker and other projects designed to boost networking amongst innovators and businesses.

The competitions are:

  • GlobalStars call with Singapore (£1 million) - GlobalStars funding competition between Singapore, the Netherlands and UK – focused on medical technology, smart mobility and logistics and advanced manufacturing
  • Smart Manufacturing Cluster call (£2 million) - applicants are invited to submit R&D&I project proposals in the area of Advanced Manufacturing applications and technologies
  • Artificial Intelligence and Quantum (£1 million) – collaboration between Austria, Belgium, Canada, Israel, Denmark, Spain, Switzerland, South Korea, Turkey and the UK

At the heart of these projects is building business relationships whilst developing new technologies such as artificial intelligence, quantum technologies and using technology in healthcare to improve life chances.

Graham Stuart, Minister for Investment, said:

The UK’s record levels of foreign investment are sustained by our reputation as a world leader in technology and innovation.

Today’s announcement will ensure the UK and UK businesses remain on the forefront of cutting-edge innovation and we retain our status among global investors as the top destination for investment in Europe.

UKRI Chief Executive, Professor Sir Mark Walport, said:

UK Research and Innovation welcomes the publication of the International Research and Innovation Strategy, which emphasises the importance of global collaboration to the research and innovation sector.

Working with international partners is essential for addressing major global and societal challenges, while also helping to deliver economic impact and enhance quality of life across the UK.

The Eureka Global Innovation Summit is the flagship event of the UK Chairmanship of EUREKA, hosted by Innovate UK, where more than 1700 business people and innovators from 65 countries meet to exchange ideas and develop new ways of working to encourage global economic growth.

This latest announcement comes as part of a series of speeches from the Science Minister on the ambition to boost R&D spending to 2.4% by 2027 and follows earlier commitments to international science. In January, the government announced 28 UK-led international partnerships, backed by £279 million of government investment through the modern Industrial Strategy. The Fund for International Collaboration research projects has been set up to tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges – from developing the next generation of eco-friendly packaging, to using the latest technology in AI to improve the lives of millions suffering from dementia.