Academies respond to Government consultation on science and research funding

20 May 2013

The Government’s spending decisions for the financial year 2015-16 provide an important opportunity to strengthen the role of research and innovation as drivers of UK growth and competitiveness, according to the UK’s four national academies, including the Royal Society.

The Presidents of the Academy of Medical Sciences, the British Academy, the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering have responded jointly in a letter to the Government’s consultation on strategic priorities for science and research funding.  The letter follows on from a recent joint statement, Fuelling prosperity, in which the national academies made recommendations aimed at ensuring that the UK harnesses research and innovation to foster future prosperity.

In the letter the academies say that the Government should commit to increased investment in research and innovation to keep pace with other leading scientific nations. The letter emphasises that it is essential that the UK maintain broad national research and innovation capabilities if it is to ensure a supply of highly skilled people and to attract investment.

The letter:

  • Identifies key priorities for the research base
  • Encourages Government to build a long-term investment framework for research that leverages private and charitable investment
  • Stresses the importance of the science ring fence and ensuring a balance between capital and resource funding
  • Considers the interdependent nature of the UK’s public research and innovation landscape