UK Research and Innovation

What is UK Research and Innovation?

Operating across the whole of the UK with a combined budget of more than £6 billion, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is a new entity formed in April 2018 that brings together nine partners to create an independent organisation with a strong voice for research and innovation, and a vision to ensure the UK maintains its world-leading position in research and innovation.

UKRI will build on the successful elements from the current funding system and maximise the contribution of each of the component parts to create the best environment for research and innovation to flourish.

Building on success

The UK has a world class research and innovation system.  Our expertise spans all fields of knowledge, from the discovery of penicillin and monoclonal antibodies, to the jet engine and the world-wide web. Our inspirational creative industries are strong in art, design and the innovative use of new materials and technologies.

Our universities and laboratories produce a disproportionate percentage of the world’s top research, and their academics are highly-sought as international colleagues and co-authors and are among the world’s best at attracting overseas students.

Nor is this excellence confined to university campuses and research centres. Our engineering, automotive and pharmaceutical industries are successful in part because of the superb graduates they can hire and the top rate researchers that support them.

Our partners

The nine UK Research and Innovation partners each bring unique assets to this cooperation.

  • Innovate UK helps businesses to identify the commercial potential in new technologies and turn them into the new products and services that will drive economic growth and increase productivity;
  • Strong discipline-facing Research Councils encourage breadth and diversity, curiosity-driven research, and priority-driven initiatives;
  • Research England’s work on knowledge exchange will focus on capacity and culture in universities and provide balance to the funding system. It will drive quality and impact through the REF and work closely with its counterparts in the devolved administrations.

UK Research and Innovation’s objectives

We want to invest every pound of taxpayers’ money wisely in a way that maximises impact for citizens, in the UK and across the world.  UK Research and Innovation will be measured by the impact we deliver: 

  • We will push the frontiers of human knowledge;
  • We will deliver economic impact and create better jobs;
  • We will create social impact by supporting our society and others to become stronger, healthier and more resilient.

It is vital for us to have the best people at all levels throughout UK Research and Innovation. We need to develop the talent pipeline for research and innovation to support those with the greatest talent and potential. We will champion equality, diversity and inclusion across the research and innovation sector, and support a healthy and high-integrity culture. More information can be found at: 


1. UK Research and Innovation was proposed as part of the Higher Education and Research Bill, which received Royal Assent on 27 April 2017. 

2. The partner councils that make up UK Research and Innovation are:

3. Research England is being established as a new council within UKRI. Its aim is to create and sustain the conditions for a healthy and dynamic research and knowledge exchange system in English universities.