AIRTO responds to House of Commons inquiry on BREXIT

AIRTO’s response to House of Commons inquiry

AIRTO, the Association for Innovation, Research and Technology Organisations, has responded to the House of Commons’ Science and Technology Committee inquiry on ‘Leaving the EU: implications and opportunities for science and research’.

IRT Sector organisations already do twice as much business with the rest of the world as with EU clients. Nevertheless, diminution of links to EU collaboration networks and funding for science and research will hamper their capacity to advance innovation in the UK and for UK based clients and partners. While ready to expand even further their links with global partners, IRT organisations need continuity of access to current levels of public investment in research and innovation programmes and procurement contracts to maintain their leading edge in world markets.

AIRTO’s immediate concern as the representative body for the UK’s £8Bn1 Innovation, Research and Technology (IRT) sector is to minimise any negative impact on UK science and economic growth more widely.

Science, research and innovation are intrinsically coupled to the prosperity of the economy, so it is important that economic leverage of scientific and technological advances, which are the core goals of AIRTO and its members remain well-resourced. Continuing access to established partners and sources of finance for research and innovation are essential. In the wake of the BREXIT vote, we consider that policy makers should urgently recognise the criticality of sustained investment in research and innovation, particularly in the underpinning skills, infrastructure and science and engineering disciplines.

Read the response in full here

Note to Editors

The UK’s thriving Innovation, Research and Technology (IRT) Sector, of which AIRTO represents approximately 80%, continues to punch well above its weight in the national economy, as shown by an independent study commissioned by AIRTO and carried out by Oxford Economics in 2014. The IRT Sector:

  • has tripled in size to £6.9Bn per annum since 2006
  • consumes just 0.3% of Government spend
  • displays productivity 45% higher than the national average
  • generates a contribution of >£32bn to UK GDP (>2.3% of the total) and >£13Bn to UK tax revenue
  • supports 140,100 jobs – equivalent total employment of Milton Keynes
  • directly employs >57,000 highly skilled people, equal to total academic staff of the Russell Group, and considerably more than Germany’s Fraunhofers

The sustained growth of the IRT Sector has the potential to significantly enhance UK productivity. Research suggests that every £1 spent in this area in recent years has generated, on average, £7 for the wider economy and that, more broadly, every £1 of public spending on R&D adds £4 to the value of market sector output.

Find out more from the Oxford Economics report

For further information please contact:

Dr Jane Gate, Executive Director, AIRTO
Tel: +44 (0)20 8943 6354