Scientists react to Government’s response to a review of research bureaucracy and other announcements.
Professor Sir Jim McDonald FREng FRSE, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, says:
“The government’s announcement today aimed at fuelling UK innovation in engineering, science and technology is welcome, including for its planned investments in UK Engineering Biology Mission Hubs and Mission Award projects. Engineering biology has the potential to deliver transformational benefits for our society and economy, combining many of the UK’s strengths in engineering research and innovation and offering exciting opportunities to bring cheaper, greener products and manufacturing methods to market. It is crucial that we continue to implement the Science and Technology Framework, advance pro-innovation policies and grow the UK’s capacity in critical technologies in order to achieve our national ambitions in engineering, science and technology.
“The newly released mapping tool for UK innovation clusters will be a useful tool for building a fuller picture of the country’s innovation landscape, particularly when combined with the Academy’s Engineering Economy & Place report and dashboard that captured for the first time, where and how engineering is taking place across the UK and the extent of engineering’s contribution to the economy, finding that engineering represents 32% of total national economic output and 26% of all UK jobs. Tools like these provide valuable data to inform future policy decisions, but without action to implement a place-based approach to engineering and innovation policy, the UK risks maintaining its status quo of regional imbalance and untapped potential for innovation outside of the identified clusters.”
Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser DBE FRS, Chief Executive of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), said:
On the response to independent review of research bureaucracy
“We welcome the Government’s response to the independent review of research bureaucracy. We have already made good progress towards delivering many of the actions as part of ongoing work, such as the new Funding Service.
“We will continue to work in partnership across the UK research and innovation system to deliver against the Review’s recommendations, driving forward world-class research and innovation that connects business, academia and public services and creates high quality jobs and prosperity for all.”
On the overall announcements
“The future success of the UK’s economy requires a fully joined up systems-level approach to research and innovation. This is powerfully captured by the creation of the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) a year ago this week, which is charged with co-ordinating R&I across government through the implementation of the Science and Technology Framework, and UKRI is a critical national asset in ensuring its delivery.
“The combination of DSIT and UKRI can be transformative for the UK as evidenced by the raft of new measures announced this week. In the next year we must continue to capture this opportunity, working to fuel the UK’s world-class discovery engine and deeply connect it to innovation in businesses and public services, creating high-quality jobs and prosperity across the UK.”
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