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The Royal Society of Biology has welcomed the ambition in the new Government R&D Roadmap, released on 1 July.

The Research and Development Roadmap is said to “power up the economy and level up the UK,” with pledges of £300 million to be invested in the UK's scientific infrastructure through the government’s World Class Labs funding scheme.

The announcement includes the establishment of a new Office for Talent, which will be a team based at No. 10 with further delivery teams across government departments. The aim of this new department is to “ensure that the UK’s talent offer is stronger than ever” for students, early career researchers and beyond, including a review of the immigration system for those coming to work in the UK.

The Roadmap outlines the plan to launch a new Innovation Expert Group to review and improve how Government supports the research sector, alongside plans to secure a “fair and balanced” deal for participation in EU R&D schemes.

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The Roadmap also came with the announcement that international students who complete a PhD will be able to remain in the UK for up to three years afterwards to live and work, alongside planned changes to the points-based immigration system for prospective students to “further streamline” the process.

This announcement follows previous commitments to achieve investment of 2.4% of GDP in R&D, and a recent announcement of £280 million for universities to help research continuity during the COVID-19 response.

Dr Mark Downs CSci FRSB, chief executive of the Royal Society of Biology said, “We welcome the announcement today of the new R&D Roadmap – it is clear the Government recognises the value of our scientific community, and the role their research plays in building our future.

“The UK is a world leader in bioscience and it is essential we continue to support and nurture our excellence in research, development and innovation to ensure the UK continues to play a leading role in tackling the global challenges we face, from the current pandemic to climate change.

"The RSB welcomes the Government’s ambition announced today and will seek to play an active role in helping develop the Roadmap.

“The commitment to developing and growing talent is especially welcome. Technicians, research scientists, teachers, communicators and many others are at the heart of our success. Ensuring movement of talented individuals between sectors, UK regions and globally remains key. The proposals outlined are a very encouraging start.”