Academy responds to the Spending Review 2015

The Chancellor has announced the outcomes of the 2015 Spending Review, setting out the budget for research spending across the UK. The Academy submitted evidence to Treasury to inform the consultation process, and highlighted the role which public investment plays in supporting a world-leading  research base, attracting investment and talented individuals to the UK, and leveraging further funding from charitable and private sources.

In his announcement today, the Chancellor protected research spending in real-terms, equating to an additional £500m by the end of this Parliament. He also thanked Sir Paul Nurse for his recent review of the Research Councils, and committed the Government to implementing his recommendations.

Professor Sir John Tooke FMedSci, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences, said:

“We welcome the Chancellor’s announcement of an inflation-linked settlement for research spending, and look forward to exploring the details of today’s announcement. The sector has worked hard to find economies during the previous flat-cash settlement, and this process will need to continue, but an inflation-linked budget will provide the necessary stability to build on achievements to date.”

“In a wider landscape of shrinking budgets, we’re grateful that the Chancellor has recognised the need to protect research for the long-term benefit of the UK. The positive impact of UK research reaches across society, and the recent REF exercise highlighted many outstanding examples. From within our own community, there is the research at the University of Exeter that identified a new treatment for neonatal diabetes which replaced regular injections with a simple pill, or the research which led to a new treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, now the fourth best-selling drug worldwide. It is these innovative ideas and treatments that the science budget helps support, and we’re pleased to see the Chancellor protect the future of such pioneering work today.”

“We regard the deployment of Overseas Development Aid resource as a powerful means by which UK science can tackle issues of global significance. The Academy stands ready to work with Government, including the Department of International Development, to ensure this investment supports excellence across the translational spectrum. This will require coordination across Departments, and careful consideration around how to work within the recommendations of the Nurse Review which the Chancellor has committed to implementing.”


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