Industry Forum focuses on science and technology

14 October 2014

It is “hugely important” that actual and potential science ministers are made to understand the needs of science and industry in the run-up to next year’s general election, Andrew Miller MP told a meeting of the Industry Forum held at the IOP’s London centre on 13 October.

Andrew Miller MP

He said: “As the debate intensifies ahead of next year’s general election, it is obviously a good time to look at some of the key issues around science and technology.” These included the role of the science and innovation centres (known as catapult centres), the importance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and finding ways to get the “real” economy moving, he said.

The UK’s policy on public procurement should take more account of SMEs, and measures that fostered innovation could help to get the real economy moving. These should include the right tax and regulatory environment, funding to develop good ideas and a properly skilled workforce, he argued.

The UK remained a global leader in science and technology and the sector played a key role in the country’s economy, but it was vital that people such as the participants in the forum should engage with politicians to ensure that the issues for the sector were understood.

The IOP hosted the meeting of the forum, which is a not-for-profit organisation that promotes constructive dialogue between business and public policy leaders. Its chairman, IOP fellow Rod Dowler, chaired the event, and the IOP’s chief executive, Prof. Paul Hardaker, welcomed the participants.

Andrew Miller (pictured), who chairs the Science and Technology Select Committee, took part in a question and answer session at the event.