Select Committee Announcement

  Committee Office, House of Commons, 7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA
Tel. No. 020 7219 2794 Fax. No. 020 7219 0896 Email: iuscomm@parliament.uk

  24 March 2009
No. 22 (08-09)


As part of its inquiry ‘Putting science and engineering at the heart of government policy’, the Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Committee is issuing a supplementary call for evidence relating to Lord Drayson’s recent proposals on strategic science funding. Lord Drayson outlined these during his speech to the Foundation for Science and Technology on 4 February 2009.

“Has the time come for the UK - as part of a clear economic strategy - to make choices about the balance of investment in science and innovation to favour those areas in which the UK has clear competitive advantage?”

Since that time there have been speeches from the Secretary of State (DIUS), Rt Hon John Denham MP, the Secretary of State (BERR), Rt Hon Lord Mandelson and the Prime Minister confirming that this is a direction the Government is proposing to take.

In particular, we would be interested to hear:

• what form a debate or consultation about the question should take and who should lead it;

• whether such a policy is desirable or necessary;

• what the potential implications of such a policy are for UK science and engineering, higher education, industry and the economy as a whole; and

• were such a policy pursued, which research sectors are most likely to benefit and which are most likely to lose.

We would be grateful for responses by Monday 20 April 2009.

Please note: Each submission should be no more than 1,000 words in length and in Word format (no later than 2003).

A copy of the submission should be sent by e-mail to iuscomm@parliament.uk and marked “Science and Engineering”.

It would be helpful, for Data Protection purposes, if individuals submitting  written evidence send their contact details separately in a covering letter. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Please supply a postal address so a copy of the Committee’s report can be sent to you upon publication.

A guide for written submissions to Select Committees may be found on the parliamentary website at: http://www.parliament.uk/commons/selcom/witguide.htm

Please also note that:

• Material already published elsewhere should not form the basis of a submission, but may be referred to within a proposed memorandum, in which case a hard copy of the published work should be included.

• Memoranda submitted must be kept confidential until published by the Committee, unless publication by the person or organization submitting it is specifically authorised.

• Once submitted, evidence is the property of the Committee. The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to make public the written evidence it receives, by publishing it on the internet (where it will be searchable), by printing it or by making it available through the Parliamentary Archives.  If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure. The Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence. 

• Select Committees are unable to investigate individual cases.

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