Tag Archives: Industry

Lord Heseltine speech, CaSE Annual Lecture 2012

Speech by Lord Heseltine to the Campaign for Science and Engineering, Science Museum IMAX Theatre, 27th November 2012. Sponsored by Airbus and EADS

“Industrial Strategy”

John Russell: Campaign for Science and Engineering: Annual Lecture with Lord Heseltine &emdash;

Thank you for inviting me and it is a pleasure to be here. Read More »

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Plan i: How innovation can drive economic growth

It’s no secret that the UK’s economy is a mess. What’s more of a surprise is that, four years into the crisis, the debate on what to do about the economy is still missing the point. While politicians and economists debate the virtues of Plan A and Plan B, austerity and stimulus, they’re missing something that may be obvious to engineers and scientists: that the real source of sustainable economic growth and societal progress isn’t short-term economic tinkering. It’s innovation. Read More »

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CaSE response to Liberal Democrat science policy review

The following is CaSE’s submission to the Liberal Democrat science policy review, dated 20th February 2012. You can access a PDF version of the submission here.

 

Dear Julian,

Thank you for your letter of 31st January 2012 inviting CaSE to contribute to your update of Liberal Democrat science policy. I have enclosed some of our reflections on the current state of UK science policy in the three keys areas you identified – money, people, and science in policy as well as recommendations which we hope your party will be able to implement in Government and for your next manifesto. I hope they are of use to you.

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An Industrial Policy for Science?

In an article in today’s Times Higher Education (THE), CaSE Director Imran Khan has called on the science and engineering community to set out a renewed argument for investment.

In the lead-up to the 2010 Spending Review, CaSE and others secured a cash-freeze for science and engineering budgets, avoiding damaging cuts which the sector had previously feared. However this campaign was only partially successful; these budgets are still being eroded due to inflation and huge cuts to research capital funding.

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Investing 4G in the Future

cell phoneYesterday (8th December), CaSE Director Imran Khan wrote an online article for the Guardian, calling on the the government to re-invest the upcoming multibillion pound windfall it will receive from auctioning off airwaves to mobile phone operators (otherwise known as 4G technology), and put the proceeds back into British science and engineering. Read More »

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Life Sciences in the spotlight

“We can be proud of our past – but we cannot be complacent about our future”

David Cameron, Life Sciences Strategy Launch

Following the focus on the Life Sciences in the Growth Plan, the publication of today’s Life Sciences strategy and the Prime Minister’s speech provide more details on how the Government plans to build on this important area. You can read CaSE Director Imran Khan’s comments here.

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Leading think tank calls for growth – without science?

Economic Growth?

Today saw the publication of a new report, snappily titled ‘Growth, growth, growth‘, authored by eight MPs, released by the Centre for Policy Studies, and apparently ignoring science.

The study carries some important messages – highlighting, for instance, the importance of moving away from a debt-driven society and the opportunities and challenges resulting from the growth of Eastern economies.

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CaSE response to R&D Tax Credits Consultation

This is CaSE’s response to the HM Treasury consultation on R&D Tax Credits. We believe that the UK must become a knowledge-intensive economy if it is to be internationally competitive in the years to come, and it is therefore crucial that the tax system incentivises research and development activity in the private sector.

Government SET Statistics show that in 2008, 1.8% of UK GDP was spent on R&D. This compares to 3.4% in Japan, 2.8% in the USA, and 2.6% in Germany. Looking at R&D performed by business alone, the figures are 1.1% for the UK, 2.7% for Japan, 2% for the USA, and 1.3% for France. These figures underline the importance of incentivising R&D in the UK.

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Innovation in Wales

A medical laser device for the permanent removal of body hair has found new life as a home-based cosmetic treatment that is one of the best-selling products in Boots.  The device was invented in Swansea and manufactured at the Sony site in Pencoed, Bridgend.

This is an example of a successful collaboration model involving the private sector working with the Higher Education sector, resulting in the production of patents and marketing new products.  The Swansea University Institute of Life Sciences have attracted over £113 million of investment, much of that from the private sector.  The medical laser device was developed from research using a super computer installed by IBM.  It is fantastic to see commercial applications resulting from this investment.

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The Global Age of the Scientist and Engineer as Entrepreneur

There is a growing belief that we are entering a new global age of the scientist and engineer as entrepreneur, if only because there is no more easy money to be had from property or from money itself. With this in mind surely this is the time to make all our science in Northern Ireland count – particularly as we try to rebalance and grow a private sector led economy.

In this context it is incumbent on our politicians and decision makers to foster an environment where science and engineering can flourish for the good of us all.

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Comparing UK & US Business-University Relations

Alan Hughes is Director of both the UK Innovation Research Centre and the Centre for Business Research, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge

It is a commonplace to argue that whist the UK university system produces excellent research it does not do well in relation to its interconnections with industry. The potential for wealth creation is, it is claimed, lost by weak and diffused knowledge exchange patterns and an unwillingness of academics to interact with external organisations.

There is in particular the view that the UK has much to learn from the US where, it is argued, a much deeper and more productive set of interrelationships exists between entrepreneurially minded universities and academics and the American business sector. There is, indeed, some evidence to suggest that US businesses do place a higher value on their university-based interactions and invest more of their own resources in supporting them than is the case in the UK (Cosh and Hughes, 2010). Read More »

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Industry leaders make the business case for science

In a letter to The Times newspaper, published today, senior figures from some of the UK’s top science and engineering firms made the case for continued public support for science and engineering. Between them, the companies account for almost a third of all corporate spending on R&D in the UK – more than twice the Government’s science budget.

The letter was instigated and coordinated by the Campaign for Science and Engineering. It is available on the The Times website, and reads:

Sir, The UK’s private sector invests £16 billion in research and development and employs 150,000 people. Our companies are careful about where they invest. We value the scientific and engineering talent that flows from the UK’s world-class universities and publicly funded research base, and how the tax regime supports research and development investment.

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