Government decision undermines our ambitions of becoming ‘scientific superpower’, says NCUB

Government decision undermines our ambitions of becoming ‘scientific superpower’, says NCUB

The Government has today sort to bridge the gap in funding for R&D brought about by UK association with Horizon Europe programme. But there remains a clear and stark gap between our ambitions to be our science power and how we match our commitment with funding with an effective cut of more than £1bn to UK research and development (R&D), says the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB).

Dr Joe Marshall, Chief Executive of NCUB said: “The announcement of a £250 million uplift in research funding sounds positive on the surface, however it masks a worrying reality. The new cost of more than £1 billion each year for association to the EU’s Horizon research programme will now be taken from the research budget. This results in a real terms cut in research funding. If the Government is serious about being a science superpower, it needs to invest more, not less in research”.

Marshall continued: “The move today not only impacts the UK’s chance to become a science superpower, but it will fundamentally impact the future of UK science system and harm long-term economic recovery. The decision directly impacts the research community, including the UK’s leading R&D intensive businesses, who we estimate will also invest £1.6 billion less in R&D each year as a result of cuts to public research funding”.  

Marshall concluded “Today’s announcement means that UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) will have to fund the cost of Horizon association from its current budget, resulting in unavoidable cuts to other areas of core scientific research. Already the sector is contending with hugely concerning cuts – the reduction in funds available for Official Development Assistance has left a gaping £120 million hole. Now more than ever, we need sustained investment in science”. 

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