Following the recent publication of the Government’s Research and Development (R&D) roadmap which sets out the Government’s vision for cultivating a more science and technology-focused economy, this joint webinar from AIRTO and UKSPA provided a timely opportunity to open up dialogue on a number of crucial issues facing the sector. The Government is planning a substantial expansion to R&D investment – rising to £22 billion a year by 2024/5 and it is imperative that the promising proposals are delivered if we want to see the sustained future economic growth of science, research and innovation. Crucial to this process is collaboration with partners to draw together ideas on how we can respond most effectively to the opportunities that have been put forward in the publication.

Leading speakers from within the R&D ecosystem discussed how we can stimulate R&D for a faster and better recovery post Covid-19, provided an update of the Research & Innovation Infrastructure roadmap programme, the questions raised and the next steps that need to be taken. How we can fully develop the opportunities and through collaboration, develop the Government’s intended plan to make R&D central to the UK’s recovery plan and position itself to be a science and innovation superpower as a result.

Co- Chair: Steve Yianni, Vice President, AIRTO

Co- Chair: Dr Glenn Crocker MBE, Chairman, UKSPA


Felicity Burch: Director of Innovation and Digital, CBI – View Presentation

Felicity leads the organisation’s policy work to create the conditions that enable businesses to come up with new ideas, invest in research and development (R&D) and adopt new technologies.

Prior to taking her current role, she spent two years as the Head of Innovation and Digital, where she led the CBI’s successful campaign for the government to commit to a target for R&D expenditure, as well as agenda-setting work on technology adoption. Felicity’s first role at the CBI was as the Principal Policy Adviser on labour markets, where she was responsible for the CBI’s agenda on pay and the future of work.

Felicity’s background is in Economic Policy, focused on business growth. Before the CBI, she was Senior Economist at EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation. In this role she led the development of their innovation policy and industrial strategy work and delivered a breadth of economic and industrial trends research. She has also worked on Experian’s Economic Policy team, with a focus on regional growth.


Dr Marie-Laure Hicks: Policy Advisor, Research & Innovation, Royal Academy of Engineering – View Presentation

Marie-Laure is part of the research and innovation policy team at the Royal Academy of Engineering, working on a wide range of activities that aim to stimulate a dynamic and thriving ecosystem for engineering R&D and innovation that improves productivity and delivers economic and social value for people from all parts of the UK. Marie-Laure lead the COVID-19 response project ‘Stimulating R&D for a faster and better recovery’, setting out recommendations based on findings from a rapid evidence gathering exercise with representatives from R&D-intensive engineering sectors and companies and ongoing work on increasing investment in R&D. Other highlights include ‘Radical Innovation’, a briefing presenting a blueprint for a new UK research and technology funding agency, and leading the follow-up project to ‘Increasing R&D investment: business perspectives’ on late-stage R&D.

Prior to joining the Academy in 2019, Marie-Laure completed a PhD at the London Centre for Nanotechnology, University College London (UCL). Whilst at UCL, Marie-Laure undertook a secondment at the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) and has previously worked as a summer portfolio analyst at the Technology Strategy Board, now Innovate UK.


Dr Bryony Butland: Programme Director UKRI Infrastructure Roadmap, UKRI – View Presentation

Dr Bryony Butland is the Research and Innovation Infrastructure Programme Director for the UKRI. UKRI recently published a report ‘Opportunities to grow our capability’, the result of an 18 month programme of analysis and engagement to create a picture of existing UK infrastructure, future requirements and resulting investment priorities. In recently months Bryony has also been working to support UKRI in its response to COVID19. Prior to joining UKRI Bryony worked as a Deputy Director in Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy working on the creation of UKRI and a range of science and innovation policy roles including the case for science investment in the last two spending reviews. She has also acted as the sponsor for the UK Space Agency, worked in Strategy for Department of Energy and Climate Change, and led work on public health and obesity policy in Department of Health and the Government Office for Science’s Foresight Programme. Before joining the civil service she worked in academia and a small biotech company, completing her PhD in Genetics in 2001.


Dr Uday Phadke: Director, R&D Society – View Presentation

Dr. Uday Phadke is a member of the Board of the UK R&D Society, an organisation focussing on being a representative voice of industrially-focussed R&D in the UK. He is also Chief Executive of Cartezia which he founded in 1998. His career over the last three decades has covered three areas: commercial businesses enabled by innovations in science and technology; academic research and teaching in technology and business; and the delivery of global innovation initiatives. His primary focus now is on the Scale-up challenges faced by high-growth firms.