The government has unveiled its ambitious new plan to keep British science and innovation at the forefront of global excellence.

The Science and Innovation Strategy – to be formally announced by Universities, Science and Cities Minister Greg Clark at the Royal Society on 17 December – builds on the great strengths of British science and enterprise, and sets out the government’s priorities for investment and support to 2020 to 2021, as well as the key principles that will underpin science and innovation policy during the years ahead.

Highlights of the strategy include:

  • £3 billion to support individual capital projects and institutional capital to maintain the excellence of laboratories at universities and research institutes
  • £2.9 billion towards large capital projects to support scientific ‘Grand Challenges’, including a £30 million UK commitment to ‘XFEL’ – an international free electron laser project – and £20 million to create an ‘Inspiring Science Capital Fund’ to get the public more engaged in science. Pre-committed projects such as Polar Ship and Square Kilometre Array will also benefit from additional investment
  • up to £235 million for a ‘Sir Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials’ based in Manchester
  • £95 million for European Space Agency programmes, including taking the lead in the next European Rover mission to Mars
  • £61 million will be invested in the government-backed High Value Manufacturing Catapult and an additional £28 million will create a new National Formulation Centre within the Catapult to drive innovation and develop the next generation of technology products
  • a new offer of up to £10,000 of income contingent loans for postgraduate taught masters degrees