The Government’s new science and technology plan: President's response

Following the launch of the new Science and Technology Framework and Nurse Review, Professor Dame Anne Johnson PMedSci, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences, said: 

“Today’s announcement is a positive next step in driving forward the Government’s ambition for the UK to be a science and technology superpower by 2030, and firmly places research at the centre of plans for growth.  

“Delivering the economic and societal benefits of research relies on stability in political and financial support for the sector so it is encouraging to see the measures that are being put in place, from extending the Horizon Guarantee to releasing new funding for skills.  

“However, these announcements follow years of uncertainty on Horizon Europe. It is important that Government urgently secures full UK participation to the programme as a key step to delivering on their commitment to provide long-term stability to the sector. We note also that the independent Nurse review published by the Government today also robustly supports this position. 

“The Academy, together with the wider scientific community, has repeatedly highlighted that full UK participation in Horizon Europe is the best possible outcome for research and for the health of people everywhere, and we urge the Government to seize this opportunity and deliver stability.” 

On the independent Nurse Review of the UK’s research, development and innovation organisational landscape: 


“We welcome the publication of the independent Nurse review which if implemented will re-energise the research landscape in the UK. The review helpfully acknowledges the many strengths of our research system, from universities to charities, and rightly points out several challenges that must be overcome to ensure the system delivers its full benefits for society. 
 

“Sir Paul highlights concerning fragilities in the UK’s R&D funding model which need addressing for the Government to realise its science superpower ambitions and for the UK to be competitive globally.  

“We are pleased that his review, and the Government’s Science and Technology Framework, highlight that people are central to the research endeavour. In particular, the Nurse review underscores the critical need for actions to support clinical academics working in the NHS, in addition to the wider community.  

“He rightly emphasises the need to encourage career path and skills diversity whilst promoting permeability across sectors. This will ensure the brightest minds are equipped and supported to drive innovation for the health and wealth of the nation.  

“The Academy will shortly be publishing its own report on the long-term sustainability of health research, which will set out some of the steps needed by Governments, funders, universities, industry and the NHS to deliver on the ambitions that are reflected in today’s announcements. We look forward to working with the Government to take forward the recommendations of both these reports.” 

-ENDS-  

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