Royal Society of Chemistry supports Vince Cable's call to action on science research

20 November 2012

The Royal Society of Chemistry echoes yesterday's statement by business secretary Vince Cable that research ring-fencing is the basic minimum needed to protect Britain's competitiveness.

The 48,000-member society supports the Mr Cable's call to reverse the current lack of science investment. 

And the RSC believes that it is critical in the current economic climate that Government take the lead in this effort and be seen to do so.  

"A decision to re-invest the proceeds from the 4G mobile auction back into science and technology would be the start," said Dr Robert Parker, RSC chief executive. 

"The importance of scientific, engineering and technological R&D investment and its role in the UK's economic recovery and growth cannot be underestimated. If we want to rebalance and rebuild the economy investment in science is critical."

He added: "The Government must look beyond short-term gains and have a vision beyond the next autumn budget and the possible 2013 comprehensive spending review. 

"It must look to the next decade or two, since economic successes in scientific innovation demands investment in finance, time and skills."

Dr Parker said: "Scientific innovation is a high-cost exercise  but successes in this area will reap rewards for the UK economy in terms of jobs, competitiveness and growth.

"Timing is critical - not least in terms of having a workforce with the right skills at the right time"

The RSC, he said, also welcomes Mr Cable's view that the UK needs to remain open to overseas talent as well as overseas investors.  The government's desire to cut immigration to tens of thousands will strangle any attempt by them or industry to get the balance in the skills pipeline right.

"Immigration rules must allow the UK to be a home for the brightest and best around the globe.  Mr Cable's call for action by the Government now, in order to have available the skills necessary for 2020 and 2030, is welcome."

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