Research – Working Together Toward Innovation

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“[Our] aim is for the UK’s world-class research centers to be seen as the partners of choice for universities and businesses around the world that are looking to build international research networks.”
—Paul Boateng, Chief Secretary to the Treasury

Researchers from the United Kingdom and the United States have a long tradition of collaboration on science and technology initiatives. These joint ventures have resulted in breakthroughs in fields such as magnetic resonance imaging, next-generation drug development, and human embryonic stem cell research—to name just a few.

The British government has worked with institutions in the U.S. to develop and support a number of partnerships between universities and research institutions that benefit all concerned. There is also a wide range of collaborative projects between universities, research institutions, companies, and state and government entities taking place.

The UK underscored its commitment to science and technology (S&T) research in its 10-year investment framework for science and innovation. The framework sets out the government’s ambition for public and private spending on UK S&T initiatives to rise to 2.5 percent of GDP over the next decade. It also provides annual real growth in public science funding of 5.8 percent over the 2004 spending review period, with science spending $1.8 billion (£1 billion) more in 2007-08 than in 2004-05. Specific commitments for S&T research include:

  • Providing substantial new resources to the Research Councils to enable them to make a more realistic contribution to the full costs of the research that they sponsor in universities.
  • Boosting the volume of basic research through sustained real annual growth of 5 percent in funding for Research Council programs and equipment.
  • Investing an additional $89 million (£50 million) per year by 2005-06 to support collaborative research and development on key emerging and pervasive technologies such as nanotechnology.

Find out more about new research opportunities and ongoing collaborations in the following pages:

  • Research Opportunities
  • UK-U.S. Collaboration Case Studies:
    • Liverpool-CDC Collaboration
    • Oxford-Princeton Partnership
    • Cambridge-MIT Partnership
    • Texas-UK Collaboration

Learn more…

Research Councils UK (RCUK)
A strategic partnership set up to champion science, engineering, and technology supported by the seven UK Research Councils.

International Partnerships in Action (pdf)
This RCUK publication demonstrates ways in which Research Councils provide and take advantage of opportunities for international partnerships.

The Royal Society USA Research Fellowships
These fellowships have been established to encourage American postdoctoral scientists to undertake research in UK laboratories for periods of between one and three years.

British Council: SISTER
This funding route map for UK researchers, postgraduates, and international students was created by British Council Science, the Office of Science and Technology, the Royal Society, and UK Trade and Investment to help researchers find funding sources for international collaborations.

Spending Review 2000
Sets out the government’s S&T spending plans for the next three years and the further improvements in public services that are planned.

Royal Academy of Engineering
The Royal Academy of Engineering brings together the country’s most eminent engineers from all disciplines to promote excellence in the science, art and practice of engineering. It works to enhance the UK’s engineering capabilities; to celebrate excellence and inspire the next generation; and to lead debate by guiding informed thinking and influencing public policy.