Osborne champions science in a speech at the Royal Society

09 November 2012

George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, spoke at the Royal Society today of both his belief in the value of science as a driver of the UK economy and his commitment to science funding into the future.

In a wide ranging speech on science, technology and growth, the Chancellor indentified eight areas that the government believes that Britain is a world leader:

  1. The Data Revolution and energy-efficient computing
  2. Synthetic Biology: Harnessing the $100 billion Bioeconomy
  3. Regenerative Medicine
  4. Agri-Science
  5. Energy Storage and the stockpiling of electricity
  6. Advanced Materials and Nano-technology
  7. Robotics and Autonomous Systems
  8. Opportunities to be a world leader in satellites and commercial applications of Space technology

The Chancellor also announced additional funding for the European Space Agency (ESA), increasing spending on space technology £60M per year for the next two years.  This investment should help to secure the future of the ESA facility Harwell in Oxfordshire as well as bringing the ESA’s telecoms satellite HQ to the UK.

President of the Royal Society, Paul Nurse, welcomed the Chancellor’s comments, saying:

“I am delighted to hear the Chancellor’s encouraging words on the place of science in driving a modern dynamic economy and his commitment to doing more for science in the future.  Only if we take a long term view will we be able to build an ecosystem that creates knowledge, develops it and turns it into a commodity that people will pay for.  We look forward to working with the Treasury to ensure that science continues to get the support it needs to ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of technology and innovation.”