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Sharp fall in UK aid funded R&D confirmed in new budget allocations

Published on 27 May 2021

The UK government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has today published its Research and Development (R&D) budget allocations for the financial year 2021 to 2022.

It shows that the BEIS allocation for R&D funded by the UK’s international aid budget for this financial year is £187m, compared to a BEIS allocation of £622m of ODA on R&D in 2019.

In response to this, Professor Melissa Leach, Director, Institute of Development Studies, said:

“In direct contrast to the Prime Minister’s ambition for the UK to be a ‘science superpower’ this sudden and severe scaling back of international R&D programmes is damaging to research, to partnerships and to the UK’s reputation.”

“The result is missing out on research and evidence on crucial global challenges issues that affect all of us.”

“There needs to be much greater recognition in government of the value of international and interdisciplinary research on poverty, health and conflict, and for that to be reflected within the UK’s overall science budgets more generally. We really need to see a return to previous R&D spending levels and to the 0.7 commitment for ODA.”

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