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Written Question
Research: Government Assistance
25 May 2021

Questioner: Stephen Metcalfe (CON - South Basildon and East Thurrock)

Question

What steps his Department is taking to support UK research and development.

Answered by Amanda Solloway

We have committed to investing £14.9 billion in R&D in 2021/22, meaning Government R&D spending is now at its highest level in four decades.

We are working to ensure the benefits are felt nationwide, with our UK Innovation Strategy and R&D Places Strategy due to be published this summer.


Written Question
Ageing: Research
31 Oct 2019

Questioner: Stephen Metcalfe (CON - South Basildon and East Thurrock)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much funding is being invested by UKRI in understanding the biological mechanisms of ageing.

Answered by Chris Skidmore

Through the Ageing Society Grand Challenge (ASGC), the Government has set an ambitious mission to “ensure that people can enjoy at least five extra healthy, independent years of life by 2035”.

UKRI is a key part in addressing this Challenge. We have announced £98m of funding for healthcare innovation to support healthy aging, through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, and £69.5 million through UKRI’s Strategic Priorities Fund to unlock new treatments that allow people to lead healthier and longer lives.

In 2018/19, UKRI spent £81.9m on a huge breadth of healthy ageing research. Within this, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and Medical Research Council (MRC) are the main funders of research into the biological mechanism of ageing. In 2017/18:

  • MRC spent £39.1m on research directly related to ageing, as part of this, £14.9m was specifically for research directly relating to the biological mechanisms of ageing.
  • BBSRC spent £16.8m on research that covers the biological mechanisms for ageing.


Written Question
Health: Older People
22 Oct 2019

Questioner: Stephen Metcalfe (CON - South Basildon and East Thurrock)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate his Department has made of time it will take to meet the Government’s ageing society target of five healthier, more independent years of life.

Answered by Chris Skidmore

Through the Ageing Society Grand Challenge (ASGC), led by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), the Government has set an ambitious mission to “ensure that people can enjoy at least five extra healthy, independent years of life by 2035”.


Written Question
Business: South Basildon and East Thurrock
22 Oct 2019

Questioner: Stephen Metcalfe (CON - South Basildon and East Thurrock)

Question

What recent steps she has taken to support businesses in South Basildon and East Thurrock constituency.

Answered by Chris Skidmore

We are committed to making the UK the best place to start and grow a business.

BEIS has unveiled several new measures to support business across the UK, including an £88 million boost for productivity and the publication of the SME Finance Charter.

We have also invested £591 million to South East Local Enterprise Partnership, which covers South Basildon and East Thurrock, to empower local areas to reach their potential, boosting national productivity and growth.


Written Question
UK Research and Innovation
17 Oct 2019

Questioner: Stephen Metcalfe (CON - South Basildon and East Thurrock)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps UKRI are taking to support interdisciplinary working in UK research.

Answered by Chris Skidmore

UK Research and Innovation has established several mechanisms to encourage and support multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research and this is a central theme in the organisation’s recently published Delivery Plans. In addition to examples taking place across its Councils, UKRI supports a multibillion pound portfolio of cross-cutting funds demonstrating commitment to interdisciplinary research.

The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and Future Leaders Fellowships, for example, were both designed to encourage and support interdisciplinary projects. The Strategic Priorities Fund realises Sir Paul Nurse’s vision of a ‘common fund’ and is already investing in interdisciplinary projects that each bring together several of UKRI’s councils along with government departments to tackle shared challenges and opportunities.

In addition to these targeted programmes, quality-related funding awarded by Research England allows universities and researchers in England to address their research priorities as they identify them