RSC - Advancing the Chemical Sciences


Chemistry: we mean business

Creating growth by staying ahead in science

The UK needs a long term commitment to our knowledge economy if we are to stay ahead in the global race. 

Our world leading science produces growth and jobs, but we are in danger of falling behind our global competitors. The USA and Germany currently invest around 2.5% of GDP in science research and others, such as Korea at 3.74%, invest even more. By comparison, the UK currently invests only around 1.7% of GDP. 

To prevent this, the government should commit to a long-term plan to fund science at internationally competitive levels, consolidate innovation mechanisms to convert research into growth, and ensure people have the skills to take up new jobs in the innovation economy.

As well as driving growth, science and innovation provide solutions to challenges faced by our society. This is why we are calling on the Government to increase the levels of funding for science and to provide better support for the chemistry sector and the broader science community. 

To secure and maximise economic growth through science and innovation the government should:

  1. Commit to a long-term plan to return science funding to internationally competitive levels
  2. Consolidate innovation mechanisms to help convert research into growth
  3. Ensure people have the skills to take up new jobs in the innovation economy 

Further information on our asks and five case studies that show how the chemical sciences contribute significantly to economic growth and help address global challenges in energy, food production, water, healthcare and scarce natural resources, can be found in our booklet Creating growth by staying ahead in science.

Downloadable Files

Creating growth by staying ahead in science
Download the case studies to show how chemistry supports the economy and recommendations on how to maximise these opportunities
PDF iconPDF (768k)  

Infographic: Support for UK science is falling behind
Britain's world-leading science creates growth and jobs, but government support for R&D falls well behind our competitors
PDF iconPDF (320k)  

PDF files require Link icon Adobe Acrobat Reader

Also of interest

Diagram highlighting areas to which chemistry contributes

Case studies: the value of chemistry

Examples of how the chemical sciences can benefit society and the economy

Contact and Further Information

Science Policy
Royal Society of Chemistry, Thomas Graham House, Science Park, Milton Road, Cambridge CB4 0WF
Tel: +44 (0) 1223 432477
Fax: +44 (0) 1223 426594