RSC chief: 100m investment for university research and cuts to taxes on patents a boost for UK science

21 March 2012

The Chancellor's announcement today of a 100 million fund for investment in university scientific research capital costs, and that taxes to patents will be cut, is to be welcomed according to the chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Dr Robert Parker said the fund, with the first bids from 2012-13, is a much needed boost for Higher Education after the teaching budget, together with the science capital budget, was slashed last year.

"As usual, the devil will be in the detail," said Dr Parker. "UK university research is among the best in the world, but to sustain that quality in an era of a frozen science budget, more boosts like this are needed.

"In addition, the 24 Enterprise Zones around the UK appear to be going from strength to strength so we certainly want to see these come to fruition as soon as possible. It is also good news that the Enterprise Zones in Wales and Scotland continue to be supported - and that Northern Ireland will soon have a zone of its own. 

"As the RSC has consistently said, sustained financial support for science will translate into a growing British economy, which will benefit society as a whole."

Dr Parker added that the 2012 Budget cuts to taxes on patents for medicines will be welcomed by a British pharmaceutical sector that has also suffered badly with job losses in recent months.

"The government is going to introduce a Patent Box from April 2013, which will apply a reduced 10 per cent rate of corporation tax for profits attributed to patents and similar types of intellectual property. This is an excellent example of how joint working across government and industry can provide measures to improve the UK business environment for life sciences companies. 

"Introduction of the Patent Box has always been the RSC's position for a unique, positive business environment in the UK that will attract the brightest minds from around the world to the pharmaceutical sector.

"Disney came a cropper this week peddling science fiction and we hope that is not lost on Mr Osborne.  His 100m promise must be forthcoming and we will follow closely what unfolds."

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