Science: Boost for technology as extra £600m is pumped into research
Steve Connor is the Science Editor of The Independent. He has won many awards for his journalism, including five-times winner of the prestigious British science writers’ award; the David Perlman Award of the American Geophysical Union; twice commended as specialist journalist of the year in the UK Press Awards; UK health journalist of the year and a special merit award of the European School of Oncology for his investigative journalism. He has a degree in zoology from the University of Oxford and has a special interest in genetics and medical science, human evolution and origins, climate change and the environment.
Wednesday 05 December 2012
An extra £600m to be spent on science over the next three years was widely welcomed by scientists as the Government began to flesh out how it intends to stimulate eight key fields of scientific research that it sees as critical to the British economy.
George Osborne delighted scientists with the announcement of the extra money for scientific facilities and infrastructure, bringing the total capital investment in science announced since the last comprehensive spending review to more than £1.5bn.
The new money addresses some of the concerns of scientists who argued that the ring-fenced annual science budget of £4.6bn did not cover the increasing costs of new facilities, buildings and equipment needed to carry out cutting-edge research.
“George Osborne has said that his government is up to the challenge of making Britain the best place in the world to do science, and this does indeed seem to be the trajectory we are on,” said Professor Brian Cox, the particle physicist and TV presenter.
“Science and engineering are the route to future economic growth, and with the continuing support of government, I am convinced that the academic and research sectors, in collaboration with industry, will deliver,” Professor Cox said.
The extra money will be invested in some of the eight areas identified as critically important by the Chancellor in a speech to the Royal Society last month, including a national centre for new types of composite materials in Bristol as well as research into ways of handling huge volumes of computer-generated data.
David Willetts, the minister for universities and science said that the new money will help to drive economic growth, create jobs of the future and help Britain to get a lead in the global race towards new economies based on science and engineering.
“It will support high-tech areas where the UK’s research base and industry can gain a competitive advantage, like big data and energy-efficient computing, synthetic biology and advanced materials,” Mr Willetts said.
Sir Paul Nurse, the president of the Royal Society, said that scientific innovation is the key to sustainable economic growth and science is the raw material that fuels this innovation.
“The Chancellor clearly understands this and his ongoing commitment to investing in science, despite the difficult financial circumstances, is very welcome,” Sir Paul said.
“We have some way to go to match the public and private investment levels in research and development of some of our competitor economies but we have the advantage of already being truly world class in many areas of science,” he said.
The eight technologies are: energy-efficient computing, synthetic biology, regenerative medicine, agricultural science, energy storage, advanced materials, robotics and space technology.
- 1 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 2 Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 3 Daily Show's Jon Stewart destroys Fox News for its Ferguson coverage
- 4 When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
- 5 Brother and sister, Christopher Buckner and Timothy Savoy, arrested for 'committing incest after watching 'The Notebook''
Ashya King missing: Police hunt five-year-old boy with brain tumour snatched from Southampton hospital by his parents
Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
YouTube video posted by Isis militants shows 'execution of 250 Syrian soldiers'
Botched ice bucket challenge leaves man critically injured after plane drops hundreds of gallons of water
Papua New Guinea Mount Tavurvur volcano eruption sees international flights diverted
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
- < Previous
- Next >
£50000 - £80000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Data Sci...
£350 - £400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Cent...
£17000 - £20000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...
£450 - £500 per day: Orgtel: SAS Business Analyst, London, Banking, Credit Ris...