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First Minister, Mark Drakeford MS

First published:
23 November 2021
Last updated:

Science, research and innovation are fundamental to addressing many of the major challenges we face today – from the current coronavirus pandemic to tackling climate change. These are global issues, which need a coherent, co-ordinated and collaborative approach.

Over the course of the pandemic, we have relied on and benefited from research and innovation – from the world-wide effort to develop, test and approve new and effective vaccines and treatments to breakthroughs in testing technology, which have enabled us to quickly test for Covid-19 at home.

The climate change emergency and our ambition to decarbonise and reach net zero by 2050 will require new thinking, research and innovation. Understanding the science is the vital first step in this process.

The recent Elsevier report about how Welsh research is contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals shows we are a global leader in this field and highlights the depth and breadth of research and talent we have here in Wales.

It is against this backdrop, we are today publishing our five priorities for research, development and innovation. We will:

  • Ensure Wales has a fair share of available research, development and innovation funding and we will work to secure funding levels at least equivalent to those we received historically, via the European Union. We will also work to address historic underfunding from both competitive and non-competitive UK investment sources.
  • Deploy research, development and innovation capacity to support our Programme for Government focus on climate change, environmental recovery and decarbonisation, including support for local government decarbonisation plans.
  • Build our research, development and innovation capacity in health and life sciences while ensuring Wales is a full partner in delivering the UK Life Sciences Vision.
  • Develop a new cross-Welsh Government innovation strategy, with a particular focus on driving impact.
  • Continue to grow Wales’ capacity for excellent research by launching the next phase of Sêr Cymru.