In a statement the office of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, he would lead a new initiative to capitalize on scientific and technological breakthroughs made in the country with the purpose of directing research into areas that will benefit the public good.
The statement also mentions that Johnson will chair a group that has been created to “provide strategic direction on the use of science and technology as the tools to tackle great societal challenges, level up across the country and boost prosperity around the world”.
The idea is to replicate the strategic gains made by the country especially towards the coronavirus vaccine program and identify areas where the research and development can benefit from government funding. The plan also looks to gain from strategic gains for post-Brexit Britain.
“From discovery to delivery, our vaccination programme has proven what the UK can achieve at scale and at speed,” said Johnson in a statement. “With the right direction, pace and backing, we can breathe life into many more scientific and technological breakthroughs that transform the lives of people across the UK and the world.”
The government’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Patrick Vallance, will head a new public body whose role will be to implement the strategy.
Britain aims to use its research capabilities to secure economic benefits as it pushes its industries towards more climate friendly green technologies midst intensifying competition from other nations.
According to data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the vast majority of research and development spending in Britain is funded by the private sector; in 2018, the overall investment in this area was 1.731% of GDP, below the 2.419% OECD average.
Post-Brexit, the government has announced plans to increase its spending on Research and development and plans to invest $20.58 billion (14.9 billion pounds) in 2021/22, and 22 billion pounds by 2024/25. By 2027 Britain has committed to raise its total investment in R&D to 2.4% of its GDP.
($1 = 0.7242 pounds)