Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan has announced new measures to support the research sector and wider public. These measures include a new £60 million Regional Innovation Fund (RIF) that will boost support for universities in areas with lower levels of research and development investment.

The Secretary of State unveiled the scheme alongside the launch of an independent review into sex and gender data gathering and, separately, a commitment of a further £8 million towards artificial intelligence (AI) scholarships that will give 800 more people the opportunity to excel in the sector.

The RIF, delivered by Research England, will be relative to the size of each UK nation and will see £48.8 million go towards 110 universities across England. A further £5.8 million for Scotland, £3.4 million for Wales and £2 million for Northern Ireland will be allocated to devolved administrations to support local and regional economies, in turn boosting growth and increasing productivity.

Other measures will include a review into sex and gender data as well as funding for scholarships on the study of AI. The review will be performed in an effort to ensure researchers and public bodies can gather the information they need to effectively plan key services. As a funder of research and producer and user of statistics, the government relies on accurate information to inform research and effective policy making in a wide range of fields, from health to crime, to education to the economy.

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