Prime Minister Theresa May has unveiled plans to invest an extra £2bn a year in science by 2020.
The promised money will be for emerging fields of research in which the UK excels, such as robotics, artificial intelligence and biotech.
The investment is part of an industrial strategy the government is developing that aims to create and back economic “winners”.
Mrs May made the commitment at a speech to the CBI.
She told business leaders that she wanted the UK to be “the global go-to place for scientists, innovators and tech investors”.
She cautioned though that although she wanted Britain to continue to attract the brightest and the best scientific talent, it could only continue to do so by bringing immigration down to “sustainable levels”.
“Today, Britain has firms and researchers leading in some of the most exciting fields of human discovery. We need to back them and turn research strengths into commercial success,” she said.
“That means not only investing more in research and development, but ensuring we invest that money wisely, supporting technologies and sectors that have the potential to deliver long-term benefits for Britain.”
The president of the Royal Society, Prof Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, described the announcement as “very welcome”.
“This sends out a strong signal to the rest of the world that Britain is determined to be a leading innovative country”.