21 Oct 2015
Speaking ahead of a short debate in Westminster Hall today (21 Oct 2015) called by Conservative MP Stuart Andrew to discuss science and the 2015 Spending Review, Professor Dave Phoenix, chair of the university think-tank million+ and Vice-Chancellor of London South Bank University said:
“Britain now spends less on research and development than 22 leading OECD countries. There is a very strong case for the government to increase rather than reduce investment in science in the November Spending Review.
“However we cannot just have more of the same in terms of distribution. Seventy two universities now receive less than £5m per annum in government funding for research in spite of the fact that they have centres of world-leading research excellence.
“Britain’s research base will not be maintained on the back of a very small number of universities which continue to be allocated the lion’s share of funding.
“Now is the time to create a new stream of funding for translational research geared at those universities which are leaders in working with small and medium sized business. A £400m fund over the next 4 years would account for less than 3% of the research budget. Such an investment would bring high returns and stimulate growth in regions and areas where the economic recovery is weaker.”
Notes to Editors
1. The million+ briefing for the debate can be found here. In a separate submission to the Treasury’s Spending Review million+ pointed out that efficiency savings could be achieved by reducing the number of Research Councils from 7 to 4.
2. For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact Pam Tatlow on 020 7717 1658 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. million+ is a leading university think-tank. More information can be found at www.millionplus.ac.uk.