UK Health Research Analysis
The first UK Health Research Analysis report, published in 2006, was the first ever national analysis of health research. It provides an overview of all types of health research activity across all areas of health and disease in the UK, funded by the largest government and charity health-related research funders. A bespoke Health Research Classification System (HRCS) was developed to allow meaningful comparisons to be made across the different funders’ research portfolios.
The second UK Health Research Report, published in 2012 compares what the funders spent on health research in 2004/2005 with the data from 2009/2010. This immediately highlights that direct spend on health research projects by these 12 organisations is 50% higher in real terms in 2009/2010 compared with 2004/2005.
For the first time ever an estimate is also made of the total funding relevant to health research in the UK. It is estimated that £8.3bn was spent in 2009/2010 on research and development across all sectors by UK organisations relevant to health research. Spend by the 12 organisations analyses in further detail in the report, on specific projects and programmes, totalled £1.6bn.
The second detailed analysis of public and charitable funding also shows that co-ordination between the largest UK funders has bought positive changes to UK health research in line with recommendations made by the UKCRC, and the review of UK health research commissioned by the Treasury in 2006 (chaired by Sir David Cooksey).
It is important to continue to consistenly track reseach portfolios in this way to support co-ordination between funding agencies, particularly in an area of science which is so important to the health and wealth of the UK. The 12 organisations involved will continue to work to improve this analysis and implement a process for the routine compilation of this data, with the aim of producing a further detailed analysis in 2014.