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CaSE kicks off the election year with a debate and a call for action

12 Jan 2015

To kick off the election year, CaSE is holding a cross-party science debate and has published a booklet of ten actions we want to see the next government take to enable science and engineering to thrive.

The sold-out CaSE cross-party debate, kindly hosted by the Royal Society tonight, brings together the science spokespeople from the three main Westminster parties to discuss the future direction of science and engineering in the UK.

We want to know how they would boost investment; ensure that the UK has the talent it needs; guarantee that a high-quality science and engineering education is encouraged and open to all; and how they would improve the use of scientific expertise to inform policymaking in the next term of Parliament.

CaSE Director, Dr Sarah Main says,

“This is going to be an exciting evening. I’m thrilled that all the major political parties are joining us for a debate about the place of science and engineering in the future of the UK and to convince us of how each party would support our sector.”

The debate will be filmed and the video made available afterwards.

Ten Actions to Champion STEM

Today CaSE launches a booklet of ten actions we want to see the next government take to champion science and engineering. The UK is a scientific powerhouse, but the system is creaking and faces severe challenges. With political support, science and engineering can continue to equip young people for a high tech future, overcome global challenges, create great jobs and build a prosperous Britain. #championstem

Naomi Weir, CaSE Assistant Director says,

“With the start of an election year, the major themes that will dominate discussion and spark debate are beginning to emerge. From creating great jobs to meeting the challenges of an ageing population, sufficient support for science and engineering will be integral to achieving those aims.”

The top ten actions are as follows:


  • Increase investment in R&D  over 10 years to reach the level of USA and Germany
  • Reduce tax on sharing of R&D equipment and facilities to foster innovative collaboration
  • Provide running costs linked to new facilities to make the most of public capital investment


  • Remove the immigration limit on skilled workers so Britain can benefit from top science and engineering talent
  • Require every primary school to nominate and train a science leader to inspire and equip the next generation
  • Link STEM apprenticeships to professional registration standards to provide quality pathways into skilled careers
  • Commit to fully-fund additional costs of science and engineering degrees to retain the excellence of university teaching


  • Create a searchable, online archive of government research to increase transparency and efficiency
  • Appoint a Chief Scientific Adviser in each Department to ensure evidence informs policymaking
  • Provide Select Committees with any evidence received during a policy’s formation to inform and improve scrutiny

The top ten actions are taken from three election briefings which detail feasible and practical actions that could be taken in the next term of Parliament to build on the UK’s science and engineering strength.  The briefings are: