The Prime Minister’s new National Science and Technology Council, is a step in the right direction to make the UK a science superpower, says the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB).

Rosalind Lowe, Head of Policy and Engagement at NCUB, said: “The UK has placed research and innovation at the heart of its national economic strategy and its global ambitions. To realise these ambitions and to harness the power of research, the UK needs national coordination to help UK research seize specific opportunities and tackle our greatest challenges. We therefore warmly welcome the news that the Government is establishing a National Science and Technology Council chaired by the Prime Minister.”

Lowe continued: “Research and innovation are affected by many different factors – from the availability of skills, datasets, buildings and laboratories, to regulation, tax and funding. The Government have set a rightly ambitious target for total research and development (R&D) investment to reach 2.4% of GDP by 2027. Achieving this target, as well as becoming a science superpower, requires more holistic, systemic policy making. We need coordinated decisions to be taken across different levels of government and parts of the UK, as well as across the remits of departments and budgets. A combined offer from government, involving trade, education, health and treasury would, therefore, appeal particularly to our R&D intensive businesses and help to attract more private R&D investment. It will also help strengthen the research base that is saving countless lives and driving our recovery from the pandemic.”