We may be barely into 2012 but it seems that BIS were busy over the Christmas break. At Policy Exchange this morning, David Willetts delivered a speech on ‘Our hi-tech future’ which also included the launch of new Research Council impact reports. Coverage of the speech in the morning’s media on the BBC website and a interview on BBC Radio 4 had focused on an idea for ‘privately funded science universities’. However, while Higher Education Institutions are central to the plan, the speech went much further that this, with the intention to ‘set the Government’s goal that we should be the best place in the world to do science’.
Imran Khan, CaSE Director comments:
“The Minister is right to underline the challenge facing the UK: we should aim to be the best place in the world for science, but we’re currently way behind nations such as Germany, Japan, and the US in terms of business and industry investment in research.”
“Today David Willetts reiterated a whole series of positive measures the coalition is taking to incentivise more private sector investment – but no political party has yet outlined a clear alternative vision for the UK economy. The Government should spell out what they think a ‘rebalanced’ economy looks like - what would really count as ‘success’ for their innovation policies?”
“We’ve got a clear opportunity to jump-start economic growth in the high-tech sectors this year, with the sale of the 4G mobile spectrum set to raise billions of pounds for the Treasury - that cash should clearly be reinvested in science and engineering to help create the UK’s platform technologies of tomorrow.”