The Council for Science and Technology sent a letter to the prime minister earlier this summer offering advice on how to reinforce the UK's status a powerhouse within global science and technology.
Signed by co-chair's Sir Patrick Vallance and Lord Browne of Madingley, the letter proposed nine recommendations across the following six focus areas:
- Sustainably increasing investment in science, engineering and technology by at least 50 per cent to a scale commensurate with the size of our economy.
- Providing leadership and incentives to increase significantly the share of that investment from business and industry from 55 per cent to 75 per cent as seen in other successful economies.
- Making choices on where to focus resources informed by our present and potential competitive advantage with an explicit decision on how much risk should be borne by the government.
- Integrating research, innovation and growth investment by joining up all government research efforts, using government procurement as a catalyst, reinforcing research and innovation clusters and deploying growth investment nationwide.
- Strengthening our skills and expertise in research and innovation and attracting talented people into business and academia from around the world.
- Enhancing both domestic and international research and innovation partnerships to confront security threats and solve global challenges such as climate change and pandemics.
Vallance currently serves as the government's chief scientific advisor and has been a prominent figure as part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The letter argued that success in maintaining and enhancing the UK's position as a science and technology superpower status would help driver employment and productivity, fuel foreign investment, reinforce its security capabilities, contribute to the country's soft power, and support the wellbeing and health of society.
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