UKRI Announces Budget Allocation for 2021-22

Budget of nearly £8 billion is more than £400 million lower than previous year, largely due to Official Development Assistance (ODA) cut.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has announced that UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) will be allocated a total of £7,908 million for financial year 2021-22, a 5% decrease on the £8,447 million allocated to UKRI in 2020-21.

The lower budget is largely a result of the UK Government’s decision to cut the overall Official Development Assistance (ODA) budget, which this year has dropped by £284 million from £423 million to £139 million. The impact on individual councils will vary depending on the proportion of their total budgets accounted for by ODA programmes.

Despite the overall cut, the allocation sees an increase in UKRI’s core research budgets from £5,475 million to £5,693 million. This includes:

  • £1,774 million for English higher education institutions through Research England (primarily distributed through QR)
  • £667 million for the core innovation budget of Innovate UK
  • £3,254 million for the core research budgets of the research councils

Elsewhere, £934 million will be allocated to UKRI Science Infrastructure Capital budgets, £151 million will go to corporate funding, while £1,354 million of Strategic Programmes funding will be used to continue planned delivery of programmes previously funded through the National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF).

UKRI Chief Executive, Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser said:

‘The past year has been tremendously difficult for the research and innovation community on a number of levels but its response has been equally remarkable. Research and innovation has a key role to play in the recovery, fuelling a more inclusive and greener knowledge economy driving up prosperity and wellbeing across the UK.

‘To allow us to capture this opportunity, it will be important for us to continue to work together over the coming months to present the strongest possible case for increased and sustained investment in the sector at the next Comprehensive Spending Review expected in November.’

Separately, the Government will publish an Innovation Strategy in summer 2021 to set out its plans for boosting innovation as part of the Government’s aim to increase total public and private R&D investment to 2.4% of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2027.