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Committee urges Prime Minister and Chancellor to protect science research funding

26 March 2021

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee has written to the Prime Minister, Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP, urging action to avert multiple threats to UK science research funding.

The Committee warns that cuts to funding will have “deep and lasting effects”, including causing significant job losses and inhibiting economic development. The letters also point out that cuts undermine the Government’s ambitions for the UK to become a “science superpower”, the levelling-up agenda, and the UK’s international standing.

The Committee recommends that the Government urgently takes the following action:

  • ensures that funding for Horizon Europe is provided in addition to the BEIS R&D budget
  • maintains funding for scientific research in collaboration with developing countries
  • recommits to spending £22 billion per year on R&D by 2024/25

The Committee also highlights the shortfall in fundraising for medical research charities caused by the pandemic, and the potential for ongoing damage to that sector 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.”

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