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Brown's last Budget

Last Updated on Thursday, 29 April 2010 15:05
Published on Wednesday, 21 March 2007 00:00
Public investment in science will rise from £5bn this year to £6.3bn by 2010/11.

Gordon Brown announced an early 2007 CSR settlement for the Department of Trade and Industry’s ring-fenced science budget which is predicted to deliver an average annual growth of 2.5 per cent in real terms over the CSR period. He went on to report the emerging conclusions from the Review being undertaken by Lord Sainsbury to identify where  government intervention can best support the UK’s science base and better enable wealth-creation viz

  • Concerning the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), which supports collaborative R&D with businesses, the UK Research Councils, to date,  have invested £25 million in TSB programmes. Now,  the Director-General of Science and Innovation, Sir Keith O'Nions, will agree specific targets with each Research Council to increase the amount of collaborative R&D they conduct in partnership with the TSB over the comprehensive Spending Review period. This planned Research Council business collaboration funding will be allocated in a joint process by the Research Councils and the TSB, and will form a clear basis for investment for the Research Councils over the CSR. It will maximise the capacity of investment from the science base to attract matching funding from other sources.
  • Concerning skills,  the Review is considering ways to improve: the  qualifications of school science teachers and support for their professional development; measures to recruit and retain teachers; and careers services. It is also considering the impact of the introduction of the second maths GCSE in 2010.
  • Finally, the Review is considering how the effectiveness of the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) could be improved to support knowledge exchange and promote economic growth and how international collaborative scientific research can be promoted, including through estabishing Research Council representation abroad

    The President of the RAS, Professor Michael Rowan-Robinson welcomed the Chancellor's reiteration that Science and Science Education lay at the heart of economic strategy but added, ' although knowledge-transfer and weath- creation are vital, just as  important is sustaining  pure, curiosity-driven research since it's from this that we get  the break-throughs on which the UK's long-term future depends'