The Government’s vision is that the UK should be one of the most attractive locations in the world for science and innovation, being a key knowledge hub in the global economy, with a reputation not only for outstanding scientific and technical discovery, but also a world leader at turning that knowledge into new products and services.
As major investors in research and postgraduate training the Research Councils play a key role in achieving this ambition. The Councils support the excellent research needed to generate new knowledge, train highly-skilled people, and work in partnership with business and a wide range of users to drive successful exploitation of research outputs. This ultimately delivers benefits for the UK in terms of new goods and services and other less direct benefits in terms of better healthcare, better public services, policy making and cultural benefits.
Maintaining this spread of investment is essential - speculative and novel research provides the ideas and knowledge on which more applied investments can be made. The view from the majority of the business community representatives who advise and work with the Research Councils is that what they value about the UK research base is its broad range of expert knowledge and its highly skilled people - elements that underpin their own R&D activities.
Highlights of the Research Councils innovation activities are detailed in the RCUK publications:
Impacts: Success in Shaping Public Policy and Services (2009)
Impacts: Successful collaborations with Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (2008)
Excellence with Impact (2007)
Impacts: Successes from UK Research (2007)
Increasing the Economic Impact of the Research Councils (2007)
Adding Value: how the Research Councils benefit the economy (2006)
Material World: Knowledge Economy (2004)
Science Delivers (2002)