The Chancellor’s Spending Review, announced today, confirmed the Government’s commitment to science and innovation.
In his second budget, Chancellor George Osbourne announced that the science budget will be maintained at £4.6m for 2015/16. Spending on science and research through the rest of the decade will increase, as capital expenditure – the money going into the laboratory infrastructure – rises from the current £0.6bn to £1.1bn.
Commenting on the outcome of the Spending Review for 2015/16, Dr Wendy Piatt, Director General of the Russell Group, said: “The Chancellor has made the right decision to protect crucial research spending and increase capital investment in science in real terms, both of which will provide a boost to our economy. Spending on research pays both economic and social dividends which is why our international competitors are investing heavily in science, research and innovation.
“All the evidence shows our research-intensive universities are the engine rooms of long-term, sustainable growth and prosperity. That’s why we are pleased that the science and research resource budget has been maintained.
“When BIS allocates their budget though HEFCE it is vital they increase funding for teaching science and engineering subjects which play a crucial role in underpinning future growth.
“Equally we urge BIS to protect the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) which is vital in helping universities translate research ideas, knowledge and technology strengths into both economic and social impacts – HEIF must be maintained and targeted to support research-intensive universities where it can have most effect.
“The re-focusing of the National Scholarship Programme on postgraduates from disadvantaged backgrounds from 2015-16 is a welcome step. We have consistently argued for the Government to address the growing concerns about financial support for postgraduate students.
“We are also pleased that the Government has listened to representations and kept medical training and research within BIS.”
More information on the Spending Round 2013 announcement can be found at : https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/spending-round-2013
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