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The Economic Significance of the UK Science Base

30 Apr 2014

A report commissioned by CaSE examining the contribution of the UK science base to our economy at the level of industry, universities and individual researchers.

This new independent report for CaSE shows that investing public money in science and engineering is good for the economy. The report looks in detail at the relationship between public funding of science and engineering and three levels of economic activity: total factor productivity growth in industries; ability of universities to attract external income; and interaction between individual researchers and the wider economy. 

We offer a two-page briefing of the full report, outlining the key findings for policy makers:

  • Public expenditure on science and engineering research is an investment that generates economic growth
  • There is a complementary relationship between industry and public sector research and development (R&D)
  • Synergy between the public and private sectors is vital to generate economic growth
  • Putting money into UK public sector R&D attracts private investment from overseas
  • Public investment in research increases rather than diminishes private sector investment
  • Investment in science and innovation is not and should not be seen as a zero-sum game in which public and private investment can substitute for each other
  • The public sector can play an important role by connecting public and private research
  • Publicly-funded academics are among the most outwardly engaged researchers

The report was commissioned by CaSE and funded by a consortium of CaSE members: British Pharmacological Society, The Geological Society, The Institution of Engineering and Technology, Institute of Physics, The Royal Society of Chemistry, Society of Biology.

The Economic Significance of the UK Science Base – two-page briefing

Download Report