New research agency must be part of wider STEM strategy

19 February 2021

Responding to the government’s announcement on the formation of the new Advanced Research and Innovation Agency (ARIA), Prospect union call for this move to prompt a wider strategy for STEM skills in the public sector.

The new agency will have a remit to pursue ambitious research projects and will have an initial £800m of funding.

Prospect deputy general secretary Garry Graham said:

“In establishing this new agency the government is displaying a welcome recognition of the value of public sector science.

“The last year has demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt the vital importance of science and STEM skills across the public sector, and those skills will be in high demand both as we emerge from the pandemic and as government focuses on challenges such as climate change in the coming years.

“The commitment to establish ARIA must not be an isolated move, but instead form one part of coherent strategy of valuing STEM skills and scientific expertise within the wider public sector and ensuring STEM skills are at the heart of policy development, delivery and evaluation.”