The Missing £4 Billion - 2 Jun 2020 12:30 – 14:00

Please find a recording of the webinar for our event 'The Missing £4 billion: Making R&D work for the whole UK' which took place on 2 June 2020.

Find the transcript for the webinar here.

The authors of the report The Missing £4 billion: Making R&D work for the whole UK, Professor Richard Jones (University of Manchester) and Tom Forth (ODI Leeds), discussed how the UK’s regional imbalances in economic performance are exacerbated by geographic imbalances in Research and Development (R&D) spending. In the webinar, they demonstrate why the current funding system has led to higher levels of inequality between places in the UK and how the Government could do things differently - arguing that most parts of the UK have been missing out, to the tune of £4 billion.

During the recovery and rebuilding phase from the impact of COVID-19, it will be important for the Government to maintain its pledge made in this years' Budget to increase R&D spending to boost the UK's economy. This investment is needed now more than ever. We have an immediate economic crisis from the pandemic, but the long term problems of the UK economy - a decade of stagnation of productivity growth, leading to stagnant wages and weak government finances, and persistent regional imbalances - remain.

With a panel of experts, we explored the implications of this research for the UK’s innovation system, and how we can ensure that more parts of the UK benefit from increased growth, jobs and productivity as part of our recovery from COVID.


Professor Richard Jones

Professor of Materials Physics and Innovation Policy, University of Manchester

Tom Forth

Head of Data, ODI Leeds

Jennifer Williams

Political Editor, Manchester Evening News

Neil O’Brien

MP for Harborough and co-founder of Conservative thinktank, Onward

Liam Byrne

MP for Birmingham Hodge Hill and Labour candidate for West Midlands Metro Mayor

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell

President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Manchester