Long-term investment essential warns RSC

Reductions in the UK?s science budget will have a paralysing effect on the country?s economy and job?s market according to the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC).

Reductions in the UK’s science budget will have a paralysing effect on the country’s economy and job’s market according to the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC). The RSC will be issuing a report that it claims supports the need for sustained, long-term basic science research, which will underpin the future UK economy.

"Research funding is not simply a tap you can turn off and then expect the same quality product to emerge when you try and turn it on again,” said RSC chief executive Dr Richard Pike. “There needs to be a sustained funding stream to plan and implement the fundamental work needed for our prosperity."

According to the RSC, the report, funded in collaboration with the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), will show that chemistry-reliant industries made a £258bn value-added contribution to the UK economy in 2007, equivalent to 21% of UK GDP, and supported 6 million jobs.

"We are now 14th on the list of the world's top R&D spenders, as a proportion of gross domestic product (GDP) — just behind Belgium," added Dr Pike. "The UK is a top destination for foreign direct investment in Europe, creating jobs and a stronger science base. This position will be damaged by the lack of long-term planning for funding. Maintaining excellence requires sustained long-term capital investment.”

For more information visit www.rsc.org