Little new for science in autumn statement

The latest autumn statement from the UK chancellor held few surprises for science this year. Many of the biggest announcements, such as maintaining the funding ringfence and doubling spending on the science infrastructure, were already laid out earlier in the year in the spending review. But there was £270 million for a new network of quantum technology centres and £50 million per year to fund STEM university places.

The chancellor, George Osborne, also announced that the next autumn statement would be accompanied by a science and innovation strategy. This will form part of a roadmap on how the government will fund science over the longer-term. This comes in the wake of criticism of the government by the Lords science select committee for failing to plan ahead.   

‘Britain’s world-leading science is central to driving growth and creating jobs, so we were very pleased to hear the chancellor once again say that science is a personal priority,’ said Lesley Yellowlees, president of the Royal Society of Chemistry. ‘The extra funding for science places at universities announced in today’s statement, along with new investment in quantum technologies is very good news.’

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