UK and US agree science and technology partnership

UK and US agree science and technology partnership

Officials from both countries will work to develop the partnership over the course of the next year.

It aims to strengthen cooperation in areas such as the resilience and security of critical supply chains, battery technologies, and emerging technologies including AI and to improve the accessibility and flow of data to support economic growth, public safety and scientific and technological progress.

It will see the countries work towards a new statement of intent to help realise the full potential of quantum technologies, which use the properties of quantum physics to dramatically improve the functionality and performance of devices, develop proposals on future technology such as 6G and strengthen collaboration on digital technical standards.

The two nations have also committed to continue to broaden collaboration on science and technology to help facilitate world-class research and influence the rules, norms and standards governing technology and the digital economy.

The countries hope to combine their expertise to tackle global challenges such as cancer, pandemic preparedness, antimicrobial resistance, and climate change, including through closer coordination between the Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology and the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, and through closer collaboration between US and UK senior science and technology advisers.

“In the 80 years since the Atlantic Charter was signed, technology has changed the world beyond recognition,” says digital secretary Oliver Dowden, “but the goals that underpin it still bind the US and UK together today: support for democracy, open societies and free markets.

Presidential Science Adviser and Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, Eric Lander, said: “There are few relationships as consequential as the transatlantic partnership between the United States and United Kingdom in science and technology.  We share a belief in the power of science and technology to improve health, prosperity and security, and a commitment to the importance of investigator-driven research, freedom of inquiry, and equitable participation in the S&T enterprise. Together, we will seek to set a positive example of how countries can work together to solve the critical and transnational challenges of the 21st century, including pandemic preparedness, climate change, and cancer.”

A ten-year National Quantum Technologies Programme is set to see over £1 billion in private and public investment and in 2018 the US authorised over $1 billion to advance quantum technologies, with three NSF Quantum Leap Challenge Institutes and five DOE national research centres announced in summer 2020.

The UK government will invest £14.9 billion in R&D this year, bringing investment to its highest level in four decades. This is a major step towards our commitment to increase total public and private R&D investment to 2.4% of GDP by 2027 and includes £200 million for the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio to set the UK on the path to a low carbon future.