Evidence session with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee will hear from the Secretary of State for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP on 23 May at 1pm. This will be the final evidence session in the Committee’s inquiry: Delivering a UK science and technology strategy.
The Committee will ask the Secretary of State about progress towards its science and technology targets, specifically the objective for 2.4% of GDP to be spent on research and development by 2027. This increase will depend on the private sector investing far more than currently; the Committee will ask about the policies the Government will use to encourage the private sector to invest more. It will ask about the other levers available to the Government to support science and technology, including public procurement, funding R&D directly through Government departments, through UKRI and through Public Sector Research Establishments.
The Committee will ask about changes in Government, especially the role of the recently created bodies, the ministerial sub-committee (National Science and Technology Council), and the Office for Science and Technology Strategy. It will raise issues with the Minister that it has heard from witnesses. The Committee has heard uncertainty and policy churn in science and technology is highly disruptive; it will ask about how to minimise this. The Committee has also been told about difficulties with scaling up business in the UK and barriers for academics wanting to collaborate with industry, which it will put to the Minister. Finally, the Committee will ask about the international dimension of a science and technology strategy, specifically the own, collaborate, access framework.
Possible question areas
- Progress towards the target to spend 2.4% of GDP on research and development by 2027
- The methods available to Government to increase investment in research and development
- The National Science and Technology Council and the Office for Science and Technology Strategy
- Different elements of the science and technology landscape, including Government departments, UK Research and Innovation, universities, and Public Sector Research Establishments
- The international aspects of a science and technology strategy