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R&D Road Map

Volume 681: debated on Tuesday 29 September 2020

Whether he plans to prioritise the development and uptake of human-relevant new approach methodologies in the forthcoming UK research and development road map. (906764)

In July, the Government published their ambitious R&D road map, reaffirming our commitment to cement the UK’s position as a science superpower. We will revitalise our whole system of science, research and innovation to release its potential, and our investment in multiple disciplines and methodologies will be guided by expert researchers.

I thank the Secretary of State for that answer. A successful transition to new approach methodologies requires the support of Government- backed infrastructure, a strategic allocation of funding, improved education, multidisciplinary collaboration between universities and industry, and close collaboration with the regulators. Will he undertake to prioritise the opportunities offered by human-relevant methods, so that the UK does not risk losing its position as a global leader in biomedical research and innovation?

I know that the hon. Gentleman cares deeply about this issue and launched a white paper on it earlier this year; I welcome the contribution of that report. The use of animals in research is carefully regulated and remains important in ensuring that new medicines and treatments are safe. However, the Government are committed to reducing and replacing the use of animal research, and we have invested £67 million to support the development of new techniques that will help to achieve that.