UK Research and Innovation was a proposal of part 3 of the Higher Education and Research Bill, which received Royal Assent on 27 April 2017. The bill is now an act of Parliament, and UK Research and Innovation will be created in April 2018.

Operating across the whole of the UK with a combined budget of more than £6 billion, UK Research and Innovation will bring together the 7 research councils, Innovate UK and a new organisation, Research England.

UKRI is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.