The Prime Minister’s focus on levelling up is admirable, but actions speak louder than words, says the National Centre for Universities and Business, the collective voice of UK business and universities.

Responding to the Prime Minister’s speech today at the Conservative Party Conference, Dr Joe Marshall, Chief Executive of the National Centre for Universities and Business said “The Prime Minister used his speech today to hammer home the Government’s ambition to make the UK a science superpower, and in doing so to level up. Breakthroughs such as the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine were only possible because of UK research and innovation. We therefore commend this ambition. A more research-intensive, innovation-led economy would give the UK a globally competitive advantage, drive economic growth across many regions of the country and also deliver a more sustainable, equitable and resilient society.”

Marshall concluded, “The Government has high aspirations, but actions speak louder than words. If the Prime Minister is truly serious about regaining the nation’s status as a science superpower, and levelling up – it’s non-negotiable that the Government deliver ambitious spending and policy commitments in the upcoming spending review. It’s also vital that the Government recognise that the race to be a science superpower is incredibly competitive. Countries around the world are investing in research and development and are sending positive signals to global business to invest with them. The UK needs to do the same. If we become an even more attractive and competitive place to do business, it will bring huge benefit to all parts of the UK and will therefore achieve the levelling up ambitions as well. Putting it simply, this is imperative for the nation’s future.”

To read more about this in NCUB’s submission to the Comprehensive Spending Review, see here.