The Chairman of The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee, Lord Krebs, has today written to the Chancellor, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, calling for an increase in the science budget.
The letter argues that higher investment levels are associated with improved economic growth, and that returns on investment in R&D are disproportionately greater than the levels of initial investment.
The Committee is also urging the Treasury to produce a long-term investment strategy for science, innovation and skills.
Lord Krebs said it was vital that the UK maintain its reputation as a world leader in science and technology:
“We are concerned that, unless investment in science in the UK keeps pace with that elsewhere in the world, the UK could lose its competitive edge in science and innovation, with consequential impacts on the economy.”
He added that there is a “serious risk” that under-investment will mean the UK loses out to other countries that are investing more than we are.