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The UK lags behind global leaders on research and development (R&D) investment. This is despite a recent, sudden ONS methodological change significantly revising up estimates of UK research investment, more through luck than judgement. Stagnation in the UK economy demands a more research- and innovation-intensive economy.

As such, the authors of this paper argue that the UK needs a new, stretching R&D investment target. In recommitting the UK to global leadership on research, there is a particular opportunity to prioritise the life sciences. They also argue that doing better requires a more ‘activist’ government – with a role in enabling, funding and deriving value from life science research and innovation.

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