This two-page briefing published at the start of the new Parliament summarises the strong evidence for the value of public investment in science and engineering
If you are a regular reader of this website I expect you already know and appreciate the incredible contribution science and engineering makes to the UK’s economic prosperity and public wellbeing. But with a new government now up and running and a parliament full of new and returned MPs, there is a new audience to engage with.
This “micro-briefing” aims to highlight how championing science and engineering can help support a strong economy, create high-value jobs, and help us all live healthier and happier lives.
There are many of great reports and pieces of research out there that together build a strong case, on the grounds of economic and social benefit, for government investment in science and engineering.
For example, we know it helps businesses – the government’s own analysis found that their Innovate UK R&D grants boosted private R&D investment by 30% and CaSE-funded research showed that every £1 of government R&D funding raises business R&D productivity by 20p each year. And it creates high-quality jobs across the country that contribute to the economy – 20% of the UK workforce are employed in a science-related job and on average they earn 20% more so pay more tax. And we know that it keeps us safe – thanks to government-funded research over one million homes were saved through improved flood defences and warning systems in the 2013-14 winter floods compared to those in 2007.
We wanted to bring these all together into one easily-digestible briefing for government ministers and officials, MPs, and peers. We hope it will serve as an introduction to the wealth of evidence out there. And for those wanting to dig into the detail, readers can find a list of references and links to further reading on the back. (I was quite pleased to see in recent survey of MPs that 53% said that this is the format in which they want to receive briefings).
The document sits alongside our booklet of 10 actions to champion science and engineering that we launched ahead of the general election. We’ll be sending both to new ministers and parliamentarians over the coming weeks to welcome them to their new roles, and prompt them to consider how they could use their voice to be a science and engineering champion.
Thank you to the members and friends of CaSE who helped contribute to this briefing, and a special thank you to the Royal Society of Chemistry for paying for its design and print. Please do share it with your networks and if you produce or come across additional reports or evidence not included here, do let us know so that we can continue to strengthen the, already robust, case for public support of science and engineering. With a spending review around the corner – every little helps!