Spring Budget: Alzheimer’s Research UK welcomes measures to boost research

09 March 2017

Alzheimer’s Research UK has welcomed measures announced in the Chancellor’s Spring Budget today (8 March) designed to boost the UK’s research base.

Among the measures announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond were:

  • £250m to help train new research talent, including 1,000 additional PhD places and support for new fellowships for early and mid-career researchers, invested through the National Productivity Investment Fund.
  • The introduction of T-Levels: new qualifications for people wishing to pursue technical skills.
  • Initial investment of £270m through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, with some of this funding used to support collaborations between business and the UK’s science base to develop new medicine manufacturing technologies.

Dr Matthew Norton, Director of Policy and Strategy at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“We welcome the Chancellor’s announcement of £250m to build a pipeline of highly-skilled researchers, which will help attract the scientific talent we need to find life-changing treatments for dementia sooner. We hope the introduction of T-Levels to offer a new route into STEM careers will also be a positive step towards growing the UK’s research talent, and a boost for dementia research. It’s encouraging to see a clearer path for people wanting to develop technical skills: diverse routes into medical research careers have an important part to play in improving the research landscape.

“We are heartened to see the first wave of funding being launched through the new Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, with a focus on the development of new medical technologies. The Fund is designed to enhance collaboration between business and the UK’s science base, and Alzheimer’s Research UK fully supports this goal. We are already working with a range of organisations to fund innovative dementia research and are seeing a growing interest from businesses wanting to join forces to tackle this huge health issue. With 850,000 people in the UK currently living with dementia, investment in research is crucial and we welcome any new initiative that will support this ambition.”