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Network Winter 2016/17: Chief Executive's comment

Delivering scientific and technological innovation is at the heart of the MRC’s strategy, which is why the Chancellor’s announcement of increased spending for UK research, development and innovation – delivered in his first Autumn Statement to Parliament in November – is such welcome news.

This £4.7bn commitment for research and development over the next five years, part of a new National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF), is great news for science and technology. An increase in grant funding for innovation and a new cross-disciplinary fund – the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund – will provide excellent opportunities for researchers to get involved.

We will help to deliver this fund, together with Innovate UK and the other research councils, and additional funding will be awarded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) on the basis of national excellence. There will also be a substantial increase in grant funding through Innovate UK, including a specific £100m allocation to support the very successful MRC/Innovate UK Biomedical Catalyst.

Joint working between academics and industry leads to the creation and sharing of ideas, knowledge and skills. Only through collaboration can we accelerate innovation and speed up the transfer of the best ideas into new preventive and therapeutic interventions for improving human health.

Sir John Savill

MRC Chief Executive