Tag Archives: Innovation

CaSE kicks off the election year with a debate and a call for action

The sold-out CaSE cross-party debate, kindly hosted by the Royal Society tonight, brings together the science spokespeople from the three main Westminster parties to discuss the future direction of science and engineering in the UK. Read More »

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How to make the UK the ‘best place to do science’

Election 2015 – Policy Briefings

Ahead of the 2015 Election, the Campaign for Science and Engineering has worked with its members and collaborators to develop a toolkit that government can use to realise its ambition to make the UK a leading scientific nation.

Every major political party has put science and engineering at the heart of their plans for a prosperous innovative Britain, driving high skills jobs and growth. Read More »

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CaSE responds to Autumn Statement 2014

Does government back the Chancellor’s ‘personal priority’ of science?

In this Autumn Statement, science was again singled out as the Chancellor’s ‘personal priority’. We saw indications of intent on how the government will spend the £1.1bn pa capital committed to science for the next five years in announcements of new facilities and research centres.

With many of these located in the north of England, we see how science is being used as a tool in the government’s drive to ‘rebalance the economy’. Announcements on skills and the fiscal landscape for research are welcome, but these need to be part of a coherent cross-government strategy to work. Read More »

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Help shape the BIS Science and Innovation Strategy

The new Science and Innovation Strategy, which will be published later this year, is an important deliverable for government, because it will set out how we ensure UK capabilities remain world-leading while at the same time contributing to economic growth and scientific excellence.

Science and innovation are key drivers of economic growth and jobs in the UK: for every £1 we spend on research, 50p is generated for the economy each year thereafter. Read More »

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What’s driving the UK’s innovation system?

Yesterday CaSE attended a Parliamentary debate at Portcullis House, looking at the “key drivers of the UK’s innovation system”. While the question framed at the outset was “Which contributes more to British innovation, research tax credits or universities?”, the discussion rapidly took a different angle, focusing instead on how best to incentivise innovation across all research environments – from large companies to research laboratories, recognising that each plays a different role in driving innovation.

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4Growth Debate

At the beginning of next year, the Government will auction the UK’s 4G mobile spectrum netting up to £4 billion for the Treasury. The ‘4Growth’ campaign, launched by CaSE and Nesta calls for the Government to reinvest the proceeds back into science, engineering, technology and innovation.

On 11th December CaSE and Nesta held an event to discuss the campaign, as well as the wider role of science and technology in our society and economy. You can listen to a recording of the event here. The speakers included:

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Reinvest the 4G windfall in science and technology

4GrowthCaSE and Nesta have launched our  new campaign, ‘4Growth‘, which calls on the Government to invest the proceeds from the forthcoming 4G spectrum auction.

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Physics for future jobs

The figures announced this week showing that UK employment has hit an all-time high are obviously welcome.  If the UK is to recover its economic standing, and prosper in the future, then creating private sector jobs will be essential. But what kind of jobs should the UK be creating?

It is clear that if we are to rebalance the economy of this country away from the financial sectors, businesses that are built on science, engineering, and particularly physics will have a significant role to play.  The Institute of Physics (IOP) has launched a report, in concert with Deloitte, that demonstrates how critical physics is to the continued existence of sectors of the economy that support more than a million jobs in the UK.   Read More »

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CaSE on BBC News; ‘Spend 4G cash on science’

CaSE Director Imran Khan has today written an article for BBC News, arguing that the money raised from the upcoming 4G spectrum auction should be re-invested in science and technology.

The spectrum auction involves selling chunks of radio spectrum to support future, faster mobile services and could raise up to £4bn for the government. Read More »

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Party Conferences: 4G for homes, or innovation?

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls is today calling for a new short-term home-building programme and a two-year stamp duty holiday. The plan is intended to get the economy moving again, and would be funded with the sale of the 4G mobile spectrum.

We do need economic change, and home-building is a potential vote-winner. But – bearing in mind that it was an unsustainable property boom that helped to cause the financial crash in the first place – is it best use of the windfall? Read More »

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Unlocking public support for innovation

It is a pleasure to write for the CaSE blog about the BioIndustry Association’s Citizens’ Innovation Funds (CIFs) proposal. I am confident we all share the ambition of shining a light on UK science and innovation and improving the environment within which research and development, translation and product commercialisation can take place in the UK. 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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Promoting the return of the polymath

The UK’s schools are not producing enough technologists.  Evidence from sources such as the CBI, DBIS and NESTA reveals that many sectors of UK business and employment are experiencing severe skills shortages which threaten our international competitiveness. Most of these are related to applications of digital technologies.

The new Centre for Innovation in Technological Education (CITTE) aims to change that. It will support schools in strengthening the way technological education is integrated into the curriculum – to develop students’ technical and employability skills. Its approach will promote more positive perceptions of technology in teachers, parents and children – through stimulating, collaborative activities. Read More »

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Government confirms end of R&D Scoreboard

We’ve been told by Government officials that the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) will not be reinstating the Research and Development (R&D) Scoreboard, citing budgetary concerns.

The R&D Scoreboard was a leading source of information and analysis on the UK’s private-sector R&D activity. CaSE had registered our concern with BIS and worked with a number of our members to try and convince the Government to change its mind. When we’re trying to increase private-sector investment it’s important that we can see whether the Government’s strategy is working or not.

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Innovation – a problem for British universities?

“BACK in the 1970s, as biochemist at Liverpool University, I was fairly certain that none of my colleagues knew the meaning of innovation. Scientists were ‘supposed’ to study science – not invent, patent, or take products into the marketplace.

As for control of Intellectual Property – well, there was none. Research discoveries were reported on an ad hoc basis to a senior administrator. He and his committee would decide what, if anything, to do with an invention.

The ‘innovation’ process was foreign and, I suspect, somewhat distasteful to the academics in my department – if not throughout academia. For example, I and a colleague invented the ‘Backfriend’ orthopaedic support. We funded the start of a company (Medesign) ourselves without any support from the university. 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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CaSE response to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee – Bridging the “valley of death”: improving the commercialisation of research

1. The Campaign for Science & Engineering (CaSE) is a membership 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 and media 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 100 organisations including industries, universities, learned and professional organisations, and research charities. Read More »

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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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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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Making Wales a clever country

Universities in Wales are under scrutiny as never before. Leighton Andrews, the Minister of Education within the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) has declared that universities must ‘adapt or die’. The yardstick against which such adaptation is to be measured is the WAG ‘For our Future’ document which sets out specific actions which WAG wishes universities in Wales to take.

Strong impetus for this agenda has been provided by the McCormick report published in March 2011 which gave special attention to the University of Wales – now a shadow of its former self following the withdrawal of the pre-1992 universities from the previous federal university.

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