Looking beyond what exists today to the breakthroughs we’ll need tomorrow

ARIA empowers scientists to pursue breakthroughs at the edge of the possible.

We have a big mission, and getting there won’t be easy. That’s why we’re building a new kind of research agency that does things differently.

Created by an Act of Parliament, and sponsored by the Department for Science, Innovation, and Technology, ARIA will fund projects across the full spectrum of R&D disciplines, approaches, and institutions.

ARIA’s programmes and projects are directed by our Programme Directors, scientific and technical leaders with deep expertise and a focused, creative vision for how technology can enable a better future.

While Programme Directors are tasked with deeply exploring a topic and designing funding opportunities, they won’t get to breakthroughs alone. To maximise their chance at success, they’ll develop their thinking through direct calls for feedback, source projects through open solicitations, and have their programmes reviewed by experts against a clear set of evaluation criteria.

Our core approach:


We back people, then projects.

This starts with our Programme Directors: dynamic leaders with technical expertise and focused visions. They retain creative control as they define an opportunity space, set the direction of programmes, and decide how to best fund the R&D community to advance their vision.


We were created for bold, long-term impact.

ARIA was built to pursue scientific and technological breakthroughs that will take years to play out. We have the autonomy and flexibility to go after ideas that may seem far-fetched, but could unlock world-changing capabilities.


We activate the UK’s world-class research community to act as a force multiplier.

We will reach across disciplines, sectors and institutions to shape, fund and manage projects across the R&D ecosystem, from startups to universities, to break down silos and discover new pathways.


We are designed to be ambitious, nimble and accountable.

Our independence allows us to pursue bold outcomes, but that is only made possible through accountability. Our Board of Directors plays a critical role in scrutinising our strategy and ensuring good governance. As a public body created via the ARIA Act we are also accountable to Parliament.


We believe entrepreneurial drive must advance science as well as technology.

The journeys to the greatest breakthroughs – from AI to space travel to DNA sequencing – have always combined a seemingly unattainable vision with an embrace of experimentation and failure.


We take responsible stewardship seriously.

Pursuing potentially transformative technologies requires a highly responsible approach. We will engage broadly and seek open feedback to shape our research, and ensure that questions of ethics and governance are baked into our approach from the start.

What success looks like

Our success is shaped by one question: when the children of the UK grow up, how will their lives have been transformed by ARIA’s work? Whether that’s a life-changing technology or a burgeoning new industry, it should be obvious that ARIA played a catalytic role.

To get there, we’ll need to relentlessly focus on long-term impact over easy wins. The journeys to the greatest science and technology breakthroughs have always combined a seemingly unattainable vision with resilience in the face of setbacks. We’ll need to embrace experimentation and intentional changes of course. As we do, we’ll generate new ideas and uncover new paths forward.

Above all: we’ll need to support bold researchers with the foresight to look beyond what exists today to the breakthroughs we’ll need tomorrow.

History is made up of periods of steady progress, but there are moments when we make a sudden leap forward. Whether it’s transistors, personal computers, vaccines, or even wind power, that shift is typically instigated by a small group of people who are willing to think differently about what might be possible. It’s that entrepreneurial approach – the ability to create a vision and bring it to reality – that pushes us forward. That’s what we’re betting on at ARIA.

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