Skip to content

CaSE writes to Liberal Democrat leadership candidates

05 Jul 2019

CaSE has written to Sir Ed Davey and Jo Swinson urging them to back research and innovation

Dear Candidate,

The next leader of the Liberal Democrats should commit to ensuring the UK remains a world leader in research and innovation.

The Liberal Democrats have long led the way on science policy and your 2017 election manifesto committed to protect the science budget and set out a long-term goal “to double innovation and research spending across the economy”. 

We urge you to take this commitment forward and, if you are elected leader, to pledge that the Liberal Democrats will support the public R&D investment necessary to ensure the UK remains globally competitive, delivering a strong and prosperous future for our economy and society.

The evidence is clear: investment in R&D drives productivity and raises living standards, benefitting people and communities across the whole of the UK. From the great challenges of our time, including cancer, climate change, food security and caring for an ageing society, to the creation of high-skilled jobs, new businesses, and the innovations that power our NHS – UK research and innovation has real-life impact.

The Liberal Democrats can play an important role in ensuring that the UK becomes a more research-intensive nation by holding Government to account over setting out a long-term plan for research and innovation investment. The UK needs a coherent long-term plan to build our position as the global hub for new world-leading technologies, to draw on our strengths across multiple disciplines, to attract talent from around the world and to promote British entrepreneurship. The Government has set a target to boost overall R&D investment initially to 2.4% of GDP by 2027 but words and targets will not be enough – actions and investment are needed.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Sarah Main

Executive Director of the Campaign for Science and Engineering