Independent scientific research agency will fund high-risk, high-reward research in UK

New independent scientific research agency will fund high-risk, high-reward research in order to support new ground-breaking discoveries in the UK.

The UK’s next generation of innovators will be backed by a new independent scientific research agency, the Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has announced, as part of government plans to cement the UK’s position as a global science superpower. The Advanced Research & Invention Agency (ARIA) will be tasked with funding high-risk research that offers the chance of high rewards.

The ARIA, backed by £800m of UK Government funding, will be independent of government and led by some of the world’s most visionary researchers. It will be based on models that have proved successful in other countries, in particular the influential US Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) model.

Kwarteng said: “From the steam engine to the latest Artificial Intelligence technologies, the UK is steeped in scientific discovery. Today’s set of challenges – whether disease outbreaks or climate change – need bold, ambitious, and innovative solutions.

“Led independently by our most exceptional scientists, this new agency will focus on identifying and funding the most cutting-edge research and technology at speed. By stripping back unnecessary red tape and putting power in the hands of our innovators, the agency will be given the freedom to drive forward the technologies of tomorrow, as we continue to build back better through innovation.”

Central to the agency will be its ability to deliver funding to the UK’s most pioneering researchers flexibly and at speed, in a way that best supports their work and avoids unnecessary bureaucracy. It will experiment with funding models including programme grants, seed grants, and prize incentives.

Science and Innovation Minister Amanda Solloway said: “ARIA will unleash our most inspirational scientists and inventors, empowering them with the freedom to drive forward their scientific vision and explore game-changing new ideas at a speed like never before. This will help to create new inventions, technologies and industries that will truly cement the UK’s status as a global science superpower.”

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