Warning to George Osborne from some of UK’s biggest companies over risks of cutting government funding for research and development.
Britain’s biggest engineering companies are calling on the Chancellor to support UK research and development in the coming spending review, warning changes to current funding could drive away foreign investment.
Bosses at Airbus, GKN, Jaguar Land Rover and Weir Group are among those backing an open letter co-ordinated by the Royal Academy of Engineering to support investment to develop new technologies and products in the UK, saying it is critical to the country’s economic growth.
They want the Government to spell out a clear and enduring industrial strategy to support research, warning that without it Britain risks losing its place as a leading technology base.
Reports have suggested the Government is considering shaking up the way it funds research. Currently Innovate UK – the public body formerly known as the Technology Strategy Board – gets £600m a year of public money which it distributes to industry through grants but ministers are thought to be considering swapping these for loans.