|Crickets - by Billy Hathorn|
In past years, the Spending Review (or whatever it was known as in that particular year, the name changes) has brought us things like the patent box, R&D relief, and so on.
This year … crickets, from a tax perspective. Nothing much, really (a small change on entering into the intangibles tax regime for corporate partners).
There's some spending announcements though (with the usual caveat that it's a bit hard to tell what's new money and what's been announced before):
- £5bn in health R&D, including £50m in antimicrobial resistance research;
- £150m to launch a Dementia Institute (presumably to do R&D);
- investing £6.9bn in capital (capital what?) to ensure that the UK remains a world leader in science and research, and protecting the current £4.7bn research funding "in real terms" for the same purpose - but note that £6.9bn includes the £150m for the Dementia Institute;
- investing £250m in a nuclear R&D programme (looks like it will be mostly for small modular reactor development, and focussed on spending in the North of England);
- protecting funding for the arts in real cash terms for 5 years;
- the £1bn Ross Fund investing in R&D in drugs, vaccines, diagnostics and treatments for infectious diseases – patterned with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, so not all of that £1bn is coming out of UK pockets;
- playing a leading role in international research efforts to reduce the costs of low carbon energy (no £ information indicated, though);
- a new entity called "Research UK", based on the Paul Nurse review recommendations. This will work across (not with? maybe just poor wording …) the Research Councils to promote a strategic approach to science funding. Innovate UK will be integrated into Research UK. The Research Excellence Framework will be reviewed.
The Review also notes that scientific R&D has grown by 21.3% and architecture and engineering activities by 38.8% (possibly since the beginning of 2010, although that's not entirely clear, and neither is it clear what metric they are measuring – employment numbers? capital expenditure? revenue expenditure?).