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Chancellor speaks on importance of science to UK economy

25 April 2014

In a speech to leading scientists in Cambridge today, the Chancellor, George Osborne MP, launched a government consultation with the scientific community on the allocation of the science budget and expressed the importance of science, research and innovation to the government’s long term economic plan.

In the 2013 Spending Round the government committed to a £7billion investment budget for large capital projects in science, and this consultation will help inform how this money will be best spent.

The Chancellor also announced a new £200 million polar research ship for climate and ocean research in both Antarctica and the Arctic.

Speaking ahead of his speech, the Chancellor said:

“Today I will be announcing our plan for deciding where it will be allocated, beginning a consultation with both the scientific community – both researchers and businesses – to determine how it should be best invested. This is part of my personal priority to ensure Britain out-competes, out-smarts and out-does the rest of the world in scientific innovation and invention.

“Backing British science, supporting businesses seeking to grow off the back of it and protecting investment in it is a central part of our long term economic plan. Britain has a proud past leading the world in pushing the boundary of scientific discovery. I want it to be a mark of our future success.”

Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society, who attended today’s speech said:

“Science was the spur for the industrial revolution, when British ingenuity led the world.  Our scientists are still among the world’s best and the Chancellor’s long term commitment to supporting them and the facilities and equipment they need, will create the right environment for a flourishing innovation based economy.”