The UK is a world leader in medical research, with a vibrant research and innovation ecosystem in which public investment leverages significant charity and private investment.
However, we must not take this for granted. The Academy works to ensure sustained investment in research and innovation by demonstrating their societal and economic benefits - including supporting the new Industrial Strategy and ongoing activities around the future of the UK's research relationship with the European Union, which has significant implications for the UK funding landscape.
Building the evidence base on the impact of investing in UK research and innovation
The National Academies recognise the need to better understand the range of benefits that research and innovation (R&I) bring to the UK, the distribution of those benefits across the country and its population, how those benefits are achieved and how best to measure them. The Academies assembled a Steering Group to oversee the commissioning of two evidence syntheses to investigate these questions.
Medical Research: What's it worth?
The Academy supported a new report examining the return on public and charitable investment in research into musculoskeletal conditions. This work extends a series of evaluations of economic return from medical research, together these reports show that:
"Every £1 invested in medical research delivers a return equivalent to around 25p every year, for ever."
The most recent report was jointly funded by Arthritis Research UK, Wellcome Trust, Medical Research Council and Department of Health. An explainer can be downloaded from this page and the full research paper can be found here.
Investing in UK R&D
The four national Academies published an infographic on "Investing in UK R&D", outlining current public and private spending on Research and Development.