Science for a successful nation - EPSRC's Delivery Plan 2016/17 - 2019/20 is published today

Supplementary content information

four coloured squares containing the following words and supporting images, 'productive' - metal wending robot, 'connected' - fibre optic graphic, 'resilient' - wave breaking over sea wall, 'healthy' - family walking along track

This Delivery Plan sets out our principal plans for 2016/17 - 2019/20 and is published in response to the government’s allocation for research investment following the 2015 Spending Review. It sets out our vision, our science strategy and the importance of our partnerships over the next four years.

Our central intention is for our investments to support four inter-linked outcomes which collectively underpin and deliver UK prosperity. These outcomes - a productive, connected, resilient and healthy nation - form a framework that is the strategic expression of how engineering and physical sciences research and skills add value to the nation, and provides an ambitious vision to inspire researchers.

While the detail behind our Delivery Plan has yet to be finalised with Council in May, we remain committed to excellence as the primary criterion for assessing research proposals and in addition will continue to:

  • Ensure a forward-looking, ambitious portfolio of research and training which make a positive difference to the UK
  • Protect the UK's long-term capability, and the expansion of multi-disciplinary research
  • Secure leverage in order to get the most from public funds

We will maintain a programme of long-term, excellent research where the emphasis is on 'bottom-up', investigator-led ideas, including community-generated challenges. Comprising around 60 per cent of our total research portfolio, this investment is essential for the UK to compete in a globally competitive environment now and in the future.

Priorities specifically addressing the four outcomes will, over the Delivery Plan period, form a significant element of our 'top-down' strategic research programme, which will constitute around 40 per cent of our portfolio.

Further details around our Delivery Plan will be published on the dedicated pages of our website over the coming weeks to help our research and business communities understand what this means for them.

Professor Philip Nelson said We have demonstrated over the last Delivery Plan that strong economies are science economies, investing in research, discovery and innovation through the engineering and physical sciences. We now need to build on our strong foundations and work together to continue to deliver prosperity for the UK over the next four years. We have ambitious plans to achieve within a challenging economic environment and a changing research landscape but I am confident that our community will rise to these challenges and keep the UK at the forefront of world-leading science and engineering.

Reference: PN 20-16