Universities UK responded today [Monday] to a report from the Science & Technology Committee calling on government to increase science spending.
The report warns that the UK risks falling behind internationally if it continues to invest less on science and innovation than competitor countries such as Germany and the United States.
Responding to the report, Nicola Dandridge, Chief Executive of Universities UK said: “This committee’s report sets out clearly the choice that lies ahead. The UK can either build on and further enhance our status as a scientific superpower, or it can deliver further cuts that will undermine our capacity to address social challenges, our international reputation for excellence, and our ability to compete on the global stage. “Universities are at the heart of the UK’s world leading science and research base. We should not, however, allow the UK’s current and historic strength lead to continued underinvestment and a dangerous complacency that assumes we can maintain our research capacity while significantly underinvesting in it. The UK currently comes bottom of the list of G8 and OECD countries in terms of investment as a proportion of GDP, with the USA investing 3% of GDP and China overtaking us in research and development investment. “We support the committee’s call to raise overall investment in R&D to 3% of GDP. Such an ambitious long-term plan would demonstrate this government’s commitment to science and research, and to driving productivity and economic growth. As the report highlights, to benefit from the government’s commitment to capital expenditure for the forthcoming spending period, there must be adequate funding to resource such projects.”