By Dr Kelly Davidge, Research and Development Manager at Kirkstall Ltd
In the Government’s recently published Green Paper on building the UK’s industrial strategy, they recognise the importance of investment in science, research and innovation and have committed to a number of strategies to boost the UK innovation economy. Although the UK has three of the top 10 and 12 of the top 100 world universities, we lag behind other countries when it comes to investment in innovation through research and development (R&D):
- 1.7% of UK GDP- gross domestic product- is invested in R&D funding, compared with the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) average of 2.4%;
- business investment in R&D is 1% in the UK, but 2% in Germany, 2.5% in Japan and over 3% in South Korea;
- the UK produces a similar number of spin-off companies to the US but registers fewer patents;
- none of our universities feature in the top 10 of Reuters Top 100: The World’s Most Innovative Universities – 2016, a list that ranks the educational institutions doing the most to advance science, invent new technologies and drive the global economy.
By Oliver Summers, Project Research Officer, Government Office for Science
In 2012, during the first year of my undergraduate degree, I received an email about an opportunity to question key political figures about science policy in the UK. This was the first Voice of the Future event, and I’ve been hooked on science policy ever since!
I’ve always been interested in science and politics, in fact before deciding to settle on studying biology at university I was considering a politics degree. I always thought it was a binary choice that science and politics were separate, but participating in events such as Voice of the Future revealed this isn’t the case. Continue reading
Lorenza Giannella, Training Manager, Biochemical Society
The Concordat of Openness on Animal Research was celebrated on Monday 5th December, with the Annual Openness Awards and the 80th Stephen Paget Memorial Lecture. The Concordat was launched in UK in 2014 and quickly reached 109 signatories including Higher Education institutions, industry and other organizations, such as the Biochemical Society. Being a signatory of the Concordat involves a commitment to being more open about the use of animals in research, by clarifying details of their research and enhancing communications with the media and the public. The Biochemical Society is a proud signatory of the Concordat and is committed to communicating to our members and more widely about the use of animals in research. You can find another recent blog post on this topic here.
By Gabriele Butkute, Science Policy Officer at the Biochemical Society and the Royal Society of Biology
What world do we want to live in in 30 years time? What values do we want the society to live by? How will science and engineering affect our life going forward and what is the role that they should play? These are among the questions that were asked during the Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE) 30th anniversary celebrations on Monday 14th November. The event looked ahead at the role of science and engineering over the next 30 years and discussed what we can do now to make the future that we want a reality.