In response to the 2014 BIS Capital Consultation “Creating the Future: a 2020 Vision for Science and Research”, CaSE wrote a letter to the Universities and Science Minister, then David Willets, and developed a joint submission with The Science Council, outlining key issues raised by their respective member bodies.
As part of this submission, CaSE and The Science Council believe that decisions about capital spending should be guided by the following principles:
- Long-term, stable and balanced strategy: a capital funding roadmap should sit within an overarching, long-term vision for UK science that supports high-quality multidisciplinary basic and applied research, the development of a skilled workforce, sustains our world-leading universities and research institutions, attracts industries from all over the world and builds a diverse and sustainable innovation ecosystem.
- Decisions must not be based on political expediency: capital infrastructure decisions must be determined by robust cost-benefit analysis outlined in a comprehensive business plan, not determined by electoral timetables or political agendas
- Robust and transparent decision-making: a robust mechanism for making capital funding decisions should be outlined within a long-term research strategy. A long-term strategy must set out capital investment priorities and provide flexibility for investment in new technologies.
- Science community-led decisions: within the robust mechanism, funding priorities and decisions at an operational level must be aligned with an overall strategy and made primarily on the basis of scientific excellence and potential impact.
- Resources to match capital investment: funding of human and material resources to ensure efficient operation and maintenance of facilities and equipment should be matched to capital investment to ensure that resources are used efficiently and achieve the greatest impact.
- Nurturing a highly skilled workforce: a highly skilled workforce is essential to maximise capital investment. There needs to be an aligned, long term and adequately resourced skills and training strategy to nurture the next generation of talent to match the long term capital investment strategy.
The full response can be found here.
In a newly published letter, the Director General for Knowledge and Innovation at the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS), has requested feedback on government priorities towards science and research funding. Read More
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Also tagged Education, Skills
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1. The Campaign for Science & Engineering (CaSE) is a member organisation aiming to improve the scientific and engineering health of the UK. CaSE works to ensure that science and engineering are high on the political agenda and that the UK has world-leading research and education, skilled and responsible scientists and engineers, and successful innovative business. It is funded by around 750 individual members and 80 organisations including industries, universities, learned and professional organisations, and research charities.