• From ideas to wealth

    To make the UK the best environment in the world for research and development

  • Key R&D developments

    UK Government press release: PM announces major research boost

    Our Current Newsletter

    Summer 2022

    Our latest newsletter containing R&D news & views is available via this link and as usual we welcome your feedback.

    • Reflections on this month’s Newsletter from David Hughes (Newsletter editor)
    • The Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021
    • EU Horizon Programme
    • International comparison of the UK research base, 2022 – BEIS report.
    • Review of Research Bureaucracy
    • The Times Higher Education (THE) report on Gender Equality
    • And finally ……..some things we found interesting and thought provoking!
    UK Government press release: PM announces major research boost

    HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

    April 2021

    The Research and Development Society is saddened to learn of the death of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on April 9, 2021. We offer our sincere and heartfelt condolences to Her Majesty the Queen and all the Royal Family at this difficult time.

    His Royal Highness was a patron of the R&D Society; our former and long-standing Administrative Secretary, Clive Jones notes in a history of the Society that “In 1969 steps were taken to obtain the Patronage of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh. After lengthy negotiations with Buckingham Palace, His Royal Highness eventually attended an Evening Meeting held at The Royal Society in May 1970 and thereafter kindly consented to become the Society’s Patron”.

    His passion for reserach and development spanned a whole spectrum of activities; he served as Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh from 1953 to 2010 and the University of Cambridge from 1976 until 2011; played a key role in establishing the Royal Academy of Engineering, commissioning the Prince Philip Medal which is awarded biennially by the Academy to an engineer of any nationality who has made an exceptional contribution to engineering as a whole, through practice, management, or education. He had a strong interest in the industrialisation of science and engineering, visiting research centres and laboratories, mines and factories, engineering facilities and industrial sites with the objective of understanding and contributing to the improvement of British industry, a key area of focus for the R&D Society.

    UK Government press release: PM announces major research boost

    The Role of R&D in Stimulating the UK Economy

    July 2020

    We are encouraged with the Government’s intended plan to make R&D central to the UK’s recovery plan from the COVID-19 situation and stated intent to use this to "cement the UK as a world-leading science superpower". However we also want to ensure that the UK's science base and international connections in research are utilised to ensure that the science base can also support prosperity and diversity in the UK economy and society and much needs to be done to ensure this alignment, in particular to look at how science can underpin a vibrant environment for innovation in which science is turned into sustainable economic and societal benefit. We look forward to a comprehensive debate on this topic and seek to work with others to coordinate the view of the UK Industrial R&D base in this important discussion. We encourage you to lend us your support by registering on our mailing list so we can continue to update you on the debate and canvass your opinion.

    Hhu362n [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

    Research, Translation and Innovation

    July 2019

    The translation of research outcomes into commercially viable products is a critical part of the innovation process. The R&D Society is therefore delighted to be supporting an event on this topic being held on the Norwich Science Park on Sept 9, 2019


    The event will highlight the translational science vision and its implementation at Norwich Research Park and its on-site and adjacent collaborative organisations - the Earlham Institute (plant genomics), the John Innes Centre (plant science, genetics and microbiology), the Quadram Institute (food science, gut biology and health), the Norwich and Norfolk University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the Sainsbury Laboratory (plant disease) and the University of East Anglia. However, this event will also provide context for a wider discussion on the challenges in the translation process, opportunities to improve its effectiveness including the role of government. This is an area of focus for the R&D Society and we will be looking to leverage the output of this meeting and other activities to advance this discussion.


    The event is jointly organised by S-Lab and UKSPA with support from several other organisations including the R&D Society.

    We are delighted to be able to offer a number of free places at the event. If you are interested, please get in touch or sign up via this link indicating that you are an R&D Society member.

    UK Government press release: PM announces major research boost

    Dyson to Move Global Headquarters from the UK to Singapore

    January 2019

    On Jan 22, Dyson Ltd, announced that it is going to relocate its global headquarters from the UK to Singapore. The company argues that the decision reflects the shift in its markets but others have speculated that the decision might also be motivated by frustrations over Brexit and potential taxation benefits.

    Moving its headquarters affects a small number of staff. Although in recent years the company has expanded its R&D about, notably in Singapore, it employs around 3,500 staff in the UK, 50% of whom are scientists and engineers and still appears committed to a strong presence in the country, with a recent announcement to establish a recent centre to support the development of electric cars as well as major investments in collaboration with UK academic institutes.


    The company has been a major success story for the UK with total business growing to £3.5B in 2017.

    UK Government press release: PM announces major research boost

    A positive view of the future for UK high-value manufacturing

    November 2018

    In a keynote speech at the opening of McLaren’s new production facility in Rotherham, Professor Keith Ridgway (a past RDS event speaker and founder of the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre - AMRC ) gave an upbeat assessment for UK high value manufacturing sector. He said that the work at AMRC with firms like McLaren, Boeing and Rolls-Royce demonstrated the significant impact that can happen when industry, translational research and governments collaborate. He cited the opportunity through growth in use of composites and new materials as well as the transition to the changing nature of production (robotics, automation and artificial intelligence/data analytics). In the case of McLaren all of these ingredients are well blended.


    Research shows that a 10% reduction in vehicle mass improves fuel consumption by 7%, and every litre of fuel saved reduces CO2 emissions by 2.6kg. There are also important lessons for the government’s Industrial Strategy. He believes that the partnership between industry, government and research could develop processes that significantly reduce the cost of using these advanced materials in vehicle structures, this would not only benefit the car industry, but other industrial sectors such as wind energy, sporting goods and aerospace. With a Brexit deal lurching towards what might be an end-game, more and more firms may choose to bring manufacturing back onshore like McLaren, as they seek to get closer to their supply chains and the research partners who can insulate them against the competition.

    2018 Global R&D funding forecast

    April 2018

    According to the USA-based R&D magazine’s Global R&D Funding Forecast 2018, global R&D spending will increase by over 4% to nearly $2.2 trillion in purchasing power parity (based on 116 countries with significant R&D spending). USA spending represents about 25% of this total but notably is the increasing spend by China at a level of 22% with an expectation of overtaking the USA in the next few years. Asia as a whole represents 44% of the spend with Europe at 20%.(Germany 5.32% and UK at 2.26%). There has been a global downward trend in government support for R&D. (down 2.4% decline since 2010).


    There is also an interesting change in the sectors dominating the Global R&D spend. Ten years ago the statistics were dominated by automotive and pharma companies such as VW, GM, Roche and Pfizer whereas today the spend is dominated by ICT companies with global forecast spend of $225 billion. The top 5 R&D spending companies – Amazon, Google/Alphabet, Microsoft, Facebook and Intel alone spend more than $60 billion in 2017 and China is reportedly planning to spend $30 billion on new semi-conductor capacity. For additional comments/views see our ‘News & Opinions’ section on this website. Full survey results can be found here

    UK Government press release: PM announces major research boost

    R&D tax credits

    April 2018

    R&D Tax Credit is a valuable UK Government tax incentive aimed at encouraging companies to invest in innovative technology projects. It can be claimed by any company doing R&D to develop an advance in their field. It can even be claimed on unsuccessful projects and can be back claimed for two years from the current accounting period. For profitable companies the benefit used to offset any tax liability tax (equivalent to 25% of any qualifying R&D expenditure. Loss making companies can also claim and in this case the credit can either be offset against future profit or recovered as a cash payment.


    For tax purposes, HMRC requirements are quite broad and are basically defined by whether you are taking a risk by attempting to ‘resolve scientific or technological uncertainties’. This could include creating new products, processes or services or modifications to an existing product, process or service. Qualifying R&D expenditure includes cost of staff , subcontractors, materials and consumables. For more detail see


    Industrial Strategy green paper cover

    Government Industrial Strategy consultation document

    April 2017

    In the middle of February the Government launched a green paper – the Industrial Strategy consultation document – which included ‘investing in science, research and innovation’ as the first of 10 ‘pillars’. The paper contains proposals to continue some existing policies as well as some new ideas but more importantly asks for input from interested parties to help form the Industrial Strategy. The R&D Society will be coordinating a response over the coming period based on new ideas on commercialising science and technology.

    UK Government press release: PM announces major research boost

    Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) and industrial strategy

    November 2016

    In late November last year, the Prime Minister confirmed the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) would be a major element of its industrial strategy. Innovate UK has recently run a series of workshops on where the focus of this fund should be and have identified 8 areas where they believe there is great market potential – characterised by excellent UK research, and industrial capability – where this fund could be applied: Bioscience and biotechnology; Leading edge healthcare and medicine; Manufacturing processes and materials of the future; Smart, flexible and clean energy technologies; Quantum technologies; Robotics and artificial intelligence; Satellites and space technologies; and Transformative digital technologies. The R&D Society, with industrial partners, will be evaluating where the major opportunities for UK businesses lie, and how best to influence Government policy to support business R&D in these areas.

  • About the Society

    Audience at ‘If We Build It…’ event, 2015

    What we do

    From ideas to wealth

    Founded more than 50 years ago, the Society recognises how the R&D landscape has changed, but our focus remains helping to make the UK one of the most attractive global environments for R&D. Read on on the About page

    Introductions at ‘If We Build It…’ event, 2015

    What we are planning

    Industrial strategy, responding to Brexit, opening up membership

    We are responding to events of the past 18 months, in industry and in politics and are responding via public events, round table meetings, and canvassing of opinion. In particular we are working on research, activities and engagement around Industrial strategy and responding to Brexit, and opening up membership. Read on on the About page

  • Social Feed

    Tweets from @RandDSociety

  • Connect with us

    If you have queries about the Society please contact us by email

    Email us




  • Membership (Reopening Soon)

    Shortly we will be re-opening membership. You will be able to be part of a community of R&D professionals and other, who share our aim of making the UK one of the most attractive global environments for R&D.


    Members will get reduced cost entry to our programme of events, with the opportunity to meet and network with other professionals and people interested in R&D, as well receiving key news from the R&D Society

    Meanwhile Sign Up for Free Updates

    Register here to get regular updates on R&D news, analysis, events, and information on the Society

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Privacy Policy
The Research and Development Society Privacy Policy
This privacy policy sets out how The Research & Development Society (The R&D Society) uses and protects any information that you give us when you use this website.
We are committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected. Should we ask you to provide certain information by which you can be identified when using this website, then you can be assured that it will only be used in accordance with this privacy statement.
We may change this policy from time to time by updating this page. You should check this page from time to time to ensure that you are happy with any changes. This policy is effective from 08 April 2018. 
Any personal information we hold about you is stored and processed under our Privacy Policy.  Our policy complies with UK law accordingly implemented, including that required by the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which comes into force on May 25 2018.
1.	Data Controller
The data controller is The Research and Development Society, registered in England with company number 01014555 and  registered  address 7 Quidditch Lane, Lower Cambourne, Cambridge CB23 6DD. 
2.	What information we collect about you
We may collect the following information:
•	name and job title
•	company name
•	contact information including email address
•	demographic information such as postcodes, preferences and interests
•	other information relevant to surveys, calls for evidence and policy input that we participate in and which are relevant to the objectives of the Society 
3.	What we do with the information we gather
We require this information to understand your needs and provide you with a better service, and for the following reasons:
•	Internal record keeping. 
•	We may use the information to improve our products and services
•	Send you updates from The R&D Society  
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•	From time to time, we may also use your information to contact you for market research purposes. We may contact you by email, phone, fax or mail. We may use the information to customise the website according to your interests.

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We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure. To prevent unauthorised access or disclosure, we have put in place suitable physical, electronic and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online. However, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. We will always do our best to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted over the internet.
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We use traffic log cookies to identify which pages are being used. This helps us analyse data about web page traffic and improve our website in order to tailor it to customer needs. We only use this information for statistical analysis purposes and then the data is removed from the system. 
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Our website may contain links to other websites of interest. However, once you have used these links to leave our site, you should note that we do not have any control over that other website. Therefore, we cannot be responsible for the protection and privacy of any information which you provide whilst visiting such sites and such sites are not governed by this privacy statement. You should exercise caution and look at the privacy statement applicable to the website in question.
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8.	Third parties
The R&D Society will not share your information for marketing purposes with companies outside of The R&D Society unless we have your permission to do so. 

In facilitating and processing your personal information we may disclose your details to any of our employees, officers and selected third parties insofar as reasonably necessary for the purposes as outlined in this privacy policy. 
We use MailChimp as our marketing automation platform. (include the links to Mailchimp’s Privacy Policy and Terms) Your personal data will be transferred to MailChimp and processed by MailChimp. Mailchimp will perform processing activities such as the collection (via sign up forms) and storage of personal data, and the transfer of personal data to certain of MailChimp’s sub-processors. 
In addition, we may disclose your personal information to third parties:
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-	In the situation that The R&D Society merges or works in partnership with other organisations, provided their privacy terms are equivalent to those of the R&D Society. 
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Information that we collect may be stored and processed in and transferred between any of the countries in which we operate to enable us to use the information in accordance with this privacy policy.

Information which you provide may be transferred to countries (including the United States) which do not have data protection laws equivalent to those in force in the European Economic Area. 
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If you are in any way dissatisfied about how we process your personal information, you have a right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner's Office. This can be done at https://ico.org.uk/concerns/
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You can contact us by email at admin@rdsoc.org or write to us at The R&D Society at 7 Quidditch Lane, Lower Cambourne, Cambridge CB23 6DD