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Research and Development

Volume 647: debated on Tuesday 16 October 2018

Research and development plays a vital role in improving productivity and helping us to expand our global opportunities. The Government are investing an additional £7 billion in R&D funding by 2022—this is the biggest increase in public funding. Our ambition is also to increase total R&D spend to 2.4% of our GDP by 2027, and 3% in the long term.

I thank the Minister for his response. Does he agree that the development of an advanced ceramics research park in Stoke-on-Trent would be a significant addition to the UK’s R&D capabilities?

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. I understand that my colleague, the Under-Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, my hon. Friend the Member for Watford (Richard Harrington), is meeting with him and leaders from the ceramics sector on 24 October regarding its proposal for future investment. I wish them all the best.

The Minister may be aware that there is a need for more research and development funding for geothermal energy projects, which I have previously raised with the Energy Minister. Will he set out what additional funding he will give to get more projects in line, such as the one in Caerau in my constituency?

I commend the hon. Gentleman on what has been done so far. As I said, a record increase of funding is available for research and development, mainly through UK Research and Innovation. We also have the industrial strategy challenge fund, but in all that, we are looking for projects that are cost-effective and if those become available, we will be happy to fund them.