The UK lags behind global leaders on R&D investment.

This is despite a recent, sudden ONS methodological change significantly revising up estimates of UK research investment, more through luck than judgement. Stagnation in the UK economy demands a more research- and innovation-intensive economy.

As such, we need a new, stretching R&D investment target. In recommitting the UK to global leadership on research, there is a particular opportunity to prioritise the life sciences.

Doing better requires a more ‘activist’ government – with a role in enabling, funding and deriving value from life science research and innovation.