The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee has today written to the Prime Minister, Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP, urging action to protect UK science research funding.
The Committee has warned that cuts to funding will have “deep and lasting effects” on the sector including significant job losses and constrained economic development.
Letters from the committee further highlight that recent cuts undermine a number of the Government’s ambitions, including plans for the UK to become a “science superpower”, the levelling-up agenda, and the UK’s international standing.
The Committee has recommended that the following actions be taken urgently:
- Ensure that funding for Horizon Europe is provided in addition to the BEIS R&D budget
- maintain funding for scientific research in collaboration with developing countries
- recommit to spending £22 billion per year on R&D by 2024/25
Attention has also been drawn to the potential for ongoing damage to research sector, caused by the shortfall in fundraising for medical research charities as a result of the pandemic, if support is not provided.
Lord Patel, Committee Chair, said:
“UK science research is facing multiple funding crises that threaten to undermine key policy ambitions at home and abroad. We urge the Government to ensure that research and development is fully supported, in order to deliver scientific and technical advances, protect skilled jobs, support economic growth, and maintain the UK’s international standing.”