The Queen Elizabeth Engineering Prize was launched at London’s Science Museum this morning. This new initiative, trailed earlier this year in the Growth Plan, is funded by an independent trust chaired by Lord Browne. The prize has received high level support, with Prime Minister David Cameron, Deputy Prime Minster Nick Clegg and Labour leader Ed Milliband all in attendance this morning.
The international £1 million Prize will be awarded biennially to an individual or team of up to three people directly responsible for the positive application of engineering knowledge. It is hoped the prize will highlight the importance and impact of engineering. Tweeting from the launch, Roger Highfield, Editor of the New Scientist said David Cameron likened the new prize to the Longitude Prize and said the Science Museum should be called the Science and Engineering Museum.
CaSE Director Imran Khan has welcomed the prize and urges politicians to use this opportunity, saying:
“To build on this excellent initiative, politicians need to come together and ask where the UK is going to be in 15 or 20 years time. The answer has to be built on science and engineering – that’s where sustainable growth is going to come from, because we can’t compete on cheap labour.”
“This prize will be a fantastic way to raise the profile of that agenda, but our research base and workforce need to be the best in the world in order to compete – the current cuts we’re seeing to the science and engineering will hamper that. None of the main political parties have put science and engineering at the heart of their economic plans, so we hope that today’s announcement will see that beginning to change.”
You can see Imran and others talking about the prize on BBC’s News at 10 this evening and read about it on the BBC website.