Public Affairs & Government Relations

FTI Consulting Public Affairs Snapshot: Singing an ARIA for Global Britain

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The UK’s Advanced Research & Invention Agency receives its curtain call…

Late last month, with surprisingly little fanfare or pomp and circumstance, the UK Government launched its very own ‘Advanced Research & Invention Agency’ (ARIA), a new arm of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Much remains to be determined about this fledgling organisation however, its inspiration and ambition are both novel and enticing.

Overture

Commanded to invest in high-risk, high-reward research and development (R&D), ARIA’s mission will be to direct public money towards the rapid development of revolutionary intellectual property, unimpeded by traditional bureaucratic barriers. This is a vision of clustered neurons of scientific genius firing off new ideas and technologies to drive economic growth and societal advancement. Of course, with an acronym that lends itself to puns, the Government will be hoping ARIA will prove itself to be no operatic comedy.

Taking a novel approach to the spending of public funds, with a high tolerance for failure, ARIA is intended to sift out gems of technological opportunity for ‘Global Britain’. Blessed with financial freedoms that will make bean-counting bureaucrats choke on their breakfast, ARIA will require a constant baseline of both budgetary and political dedication in order to survive and thrive; tolerance of failure not being something that opposition politicians and commentators are traditionally predisposed towards. For ARIA to reach a resounding crescendo, it will need to quickly show it can rapidly turn ingenious creations into cold, hard profit.

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