ARIA, long-anticipated Advanced Research and Invention Agency, has been formally launched by science minister George Freeman.

Formation of the agency was championed by Brexit campaigner and former No 10 adviser Dominic Cummings and tasked with creating “transformational research programmes with the potential to create new technological capabilities for the benefit of humanity”.

It is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by BEIS, but government says it has “a unique level of freedom which puts trust in the decisions of experts in their field and empowers them to quickly allocate funding in support of their ambitious vision”.  There has been controversy, in that it is not subject to usual freedom of information obligations.

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