IOP welcomes Government’s proposal for pact to maintain deep scientific partnership with the EU

24 May 2018

IOP has welcomed the UK Government’s proposal for a science and innovation pact with the EU, published yesterday (23 May).

IOP welcomes Government’s proposal for pact to maintain deep scientific partnership with the EU

The proposal follows Prime Minister Theresa May’s major speech on science at Jodrell Bank on Monday (21 May), in which Mrs. May said: “I know how deeply British scientists value their collaboration with colleagues in other countries through EU-organised programmes. And the contribution which UK science makes to those projects is immense.

“I want the UK to have a deep science partnership with the European Union, because this is in the interests of scientists and industry right across Europe.”

Professor Paul Hardaker, IOP Chief Executive Officer, said: “The publication of the Government’s framework for a new science and innovation pact with the EU is a very positive step. This is the clearest indication yet that Government sees the value of maintaining a deep and meaningful scientific partnership between the UK and the EU through the next Framework Programme and key research and training elements of Euratom. The collaborations and connections that these EU-wide programmes make possible are vital to the strength of UK science whatever the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.

“Strength in UK science is important because this is what will help the UK stay at the forefront of research and innovation. It shapes our future and helps boost UK jobs, productivity and economic growth. The Prime Minister re-affirming the Government’s commitment that UK R&D spending will rise to 2.4% of GDP under the Industrial Strategy is also key to this.

“But ultimately the success of UK science depends on the people who work in it. It is hugely positive to hear the Government’s intention for the UK to be open to talented scientists and technicians from around the world. If we want to be the best we need to be the place where people come to do world-class science. We need to invest and grow our talent but we know that’s not enough to close the growing STEM skills gap. So it is critical that we have concrete commitments on the status of EU scientists currently working in the UK, and clear plans for how the UK’s future immigration system will work.”

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