Press release

IET welcomes £2 million boost for scientific research but calls for ongoing commitment to long-term investment for UK innovation

23 November 2016

Dave Smith, chair of the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) innovation panel, said: “We recently made an urgent call with the ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales) for the right models of both government and private investment funding to accelerate scale up for our innovative technology businesses.  So the Prime Minister’s announcement of £2 million scientific research to replace the investment streams in doubt following the Brexit decision and new funding for priority technologies is very welcome.

“Our focus in the UK should be on the need to boost public and private investment to fill the gap between R&D funding for start-ups where we are very successful and the long-term finance that capital-intensive engineering businesses urgently require to scale up.  We look forward to learning more about how the new investment and proposed review of current research and development tax incentives for innovators will help achieve this and will be offering the expertise of the UK’s engineering community to work on the Industrial Strategy.

“We concluded that government procurement processes are an almost free way to support UK innovation and give entrepreneurs and start-ups a much-needed ‘foot on the ladder’, so we are delighted to see this announced as a key part of the review.

“Ultimately, Theresa May’s announcement is a welcome first step, but a successful Industrial Strategy for the UK will depend on a long-term,cross-departmental and cross-party investment strategy that engages our world leading engineering and finance sectors.”

Notes to editors:

  • The IET is one of the world’s largest engineering institutions with over 167,000 members in 150 countries. It is also the most interdisciplinary – to reflect the increasingly diverse nature of engineering in the 21st century. Energy, transport, manufacturing, information and communications, and the built environment: the IET covers them all.