Institute of Physics comments on Vince Cable’s speech at the CBI

19 November 2012

Paul Hardaker, Institute of Physics’ (IOP) Chief Executive, has commented on a speech made today by the Secretary of State for Business, Vince Cable, at the Confederation of British Industry.

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He said: “The Secretary of State for Business’s speech shows his strong feeling of how important science is for a thriving, innovating, growing economy. It also showed the importance of a long-term commitment to attracting the most talented people to careers in science and engineering, while maintaining a science budget that invests in science the way our international competitors are already committed to.  Our own recent independent reports on the value of physics to the economy provide clear evidence of this.

“I would agree with the Secretary of State that the ringfence for research funding is a ‘basic minimum to protect Britain’s competitiveness’ but the scale of funding is also critical.  While the flat cash settlement for science in 2010 was helpful in difficult times, two more years of this will not only undermine the Government’s ambitions for growth, but will also significantly damage the value and competitiveness of our science base.

“The Business Secretary refers to the battles that he must win in Government to prioritise his growth agenda.  We offer our support in working with him in this and urge him to be even more ambitious if we are to avoid eroding our national strength in science and engineering, and losing ground to international competitors who continue to realise the benefit of increased investment in their science base.”

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