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Life science organisations call on Government to invest in basic research

08 Sep 2015

Almost 200 life sciences organisations – from funders to pharmaceuticals companies – have written to the Financial Times to ask the UK government to protect its investment in science in the forthcoming Spending Review

The letter, signed by leading investors, companies, and charities, many of which are CaSE members, argues that long-term public funding provides the foundation for the country’s world-leading multidisciplinary research base. This delivers wide-ranging improvements to people’s health and wellbeing, underpins the development and retention of a highly skilled workforce, and ultimately drives economic growth and productivity.

The Financial Times also covered the letter in a news piece, which includes a quote from CaSE Acting Director, Naomi Weir.

CaSE analysis earlier this year found that the annual funding shortfalls resulting from the 2010 flat-cash settlement for the ‘Science Budget’ have accumulated to a £1 billion loss to the UK research base over the lifetime of the 2010-15 Parliament. The current Government has only committed to increasing capital science investment in line with inflation meaning that even if they maintain the flat-cash Science Budget, the overall loss to the UK research base will reach £2.3 billion by the end of the next Parliament. To put that into perspective, that would pay for three more Francis Crick Institutes across the UK.

CaSE Acting Director, Naomi Weir, said:

“There is a real risk that BIS will see substantial cuts in the Spending Review. We understand that the Government has to make tough choices but taking the fuel out of the engine of growth would cause lasting damage. Investment in science and engineering drives economic growth, creates high-value jobs, and provides healthier and happy lives for all. We hope this letter is a wake-up call and the Chancellor will back up his warm words with vital investment.”