⚡️ News
December 28, 2023
Updated on
December 28, 2023

UK innovation strategy

UK innovation strategy
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According to the UK Secretary of State Priti Patel, since the spread of Covid-19, the United Kingdom has faced numerous challenges affecting its social, economic, and political life. For now, the UK Government’s priority is to build back better through an innovative approach.

To transform the UK into a global hub for innovation by 2035, the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy have launched the latest UK Innovation Strategy.

The UK Innovation Strategy sets out the first steps in the roadmap for the UK to build back better and innovative, with the following 4 pillars.

Pillar 1: Unleashing Business — supporting all the businesses who want to innovate

The government would:

  • Increase the annual public investment in Research & Development to a record £22 billion.
  • Publish the National AI Strategy to support businesses, and the public sector to responsibly adopt Artificial Intelligence.

Pillar 2: People – making the UK the best place for innovative talent

The government would:

  • Introduce new High Potential Individual, and Scale-up visa routes, and revitalize the Innovator route to attract and retain high-skilled, globally mobile innovation talent.
  • Open borders to top talent.
  • Provide support for flexible, cross-sector training programs to encourage more collaboration between academia and industry.

Pillar 3: Institutions and Places — ensuring the research, development, and innovation institutions serve the needs of businesses, and places across the UK

The government would:

  • Allocate £127 million through the Strength in Places Fund to develop R&D capacity, and support local growth across the UK.

Pillar 4: Missions and Technologies — stimulating innovation to tackle major challenges faced by the UK and the world, and drive capability in key technologies

The government would:

  • Establish a new Innovation Missions programme to tackle some of the most significant issues confronting the UK, and the world in the coming years.
  • Launch new Prosperity Partnerships to establish business-led research projects to develop transformational new technologies, with £59 million of industry, university, and government investment.

Opening borders to top talents

One of the pillars mapped out by the UK Innovation Strategy is making the UK the best place for innovative talent. Making sure of the necessity for diverse skills, the UK government is also planning to open borders for top talents to bring innovation and develop in the UK.

A Global Talent Visa route, best for leaders and emerging leaders in their fields, has already contributed to the increase of talent mobility to the United Kingdom.

The UK government has further plans to introduce a new High Potential Individual (HPI) route aimed to make it easier for the top global universities’ alumni to continue (or start) their career in the UK. The job offer will not be required. The route will also allow eligible talents to extend their visa, and settle in the UK.

A new Scale-up route will allow individuals with a sponsored job offer from an authorised UK scale-up company to qualify for a ‘fast-track visa'. A company looking to sponsor under this route will need to demonstrate they have an annualised growth of at least 20% for the previous 3-year period in terms of turnover and staffing and a minimum of 10 employees at the start of the 3-year period. The applicants must also be paid at least £33,000 per year or the going rate for the particular occupation. The individuals will be able to extend their visa and settle in the UK.

A revitalized Innovator route will allow talented innovators and entrepreneurs from overseas to start and operate an innovative business in the UK, creating jobs for UK workers. This would be done by simplified business eligibility criteria, fast-tracking applications, and flexible requirements for investment. The requirement for a £50,000 investment fund, and restriction on doing work outside of the applicant’s primary business would be removed.

The new Global Business Mobility routes will give a greater chance for innovative companies to transfer and expand their business in the UK. There are five new individual routes (five sub-categories) planned: Senior or Specialist Worker, Graduate Trainee, UK Expansion Worker, Service Supplier, and Secondment Worker. Four of the routes will replace existing visa categories (mainly rebranding) and the remaining individual category will create a new provision for secondments.

A major new statement of changes to the UK Immigration Rules was published on March 16 and looks at the new business routes in detail.

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