Academies: Brexit will see multi-million pound gap in STEM research support
24 May 2017
Britain’s departure from the European Union will leave a significant gap in support for the country’s research and innovation work, suggests a new report commissioned by leading science academies.
The Academy of Medical Sciences, British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society commissioned Technopolis Group to assess the scale of EU support for research activities as a prelude to Brexit.
It reveals that the natural and physical sciences and engineering received more than £120 million annually, followed by biosciences with £91 million, physics and chemistry with £55 million each, and £46 million for IT.
The details are based on the latest figures, available from the Higher Education Statistics Authority, for the 2014/2015 period
President of the Royal Society, Venki Ramakrishnan, said: “This report shows that EU funding sources are essential for UK science and innovation, which is among our greatest strengths and key to our future.
“After the UK leaves the EU we must make sure that research is not shortchanged, and the overall funding level of science is maintained.”
EU funding sources are essential for UK science and innovation
Venki Ramakrishnan, president, the Royal Society
The report confirms that Oxbridge institutions continue to dominate higher education beneficiaries of EU investment, with Oxford receiving just over £60.3 million and Cambridge £59.5 million.
European money has less impact overall on business investment in research and development, but a significant influence on small and medium-sized enterprises which received £650 million between 2007 and 2013 – or 17% of total R&D spend in the sector.
Academy of Medical Sciences president, Professor Robert Lechler, cautioned that ending the relationship with the EU would not only have direct financial implications
“EU networks are absolutely vital for providing access to the people and the partnerships which allow the biomedical sciences in the UK to excel on the global stage,” he warned.