The 10 year Science and Innovation Investment Framework (2004 – 2014) has guided Labour’s spending commitments and policies for science. The Framework was developed to correct historic under-investment in the UK’s research base following pressure from Save British Science – the forerunner to CaSE. Since 2004, SBS/CaSE have worked on many policy issues, but the biggest is to have the Framework seen through until its conclusion.
There have been a number of recent reports on the future of science funding, but the House of Lords report on Setting priorities for publicly funded research is the only one that said specifically for the 10 year Framework to be seen through until 2014. Although the Prime Minister made a commitment that science would not be a victim of the recession back in February 2009, there has since been a long silence about the fate of the Framework until earlier this week.
When pressed by Adam Afriyie, the Conservative science spokesperson, David Lammy said that the government was committed to seeing it through. As Afriyie noted in his question, this would mean the Science Budget rising by at least the rate of economic growth from 2012 – 2014. The Budget forecast for 2012 is for at least 3% growth.
Getting all the parties to sign-up to seeing through the commitments in the Framework would demonstrate that good science policies have cross-party support. It would also show that during good times and bad, the UK is committed to investment in science and innovation.