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20 Mar 2013

SCI is one of five bodies pressing the government to take action in the budget to back science research, the others being the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), the Chemical Industries Association (CIA), the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE), and the Chemistry Innovation Knowledge Transfer Network (Ciktn).

This group of leading scientific institutions has written to the Treasury underlining the importance of the chemical sciences to the UK's economic recovery hopes, and is seeking to work with the government to make sure that the chemical science community can help to support the UK growth agenda.

The letter says urgent actions are needed to maintain the UK's competitive edge through a world-leading science base and to get the economy back on the pathway to growth.

The country's economic recovery is threatened by lack of funding for science research. Other countries like China, South Korea and Brazil are channelling strategic investment into their sciences. They have recognised the link between investment in science research and economic growth. SCI is calling for government to do the same.

SCI has contributed to a report Chemistry: we mean business setting out a plan to help Britain derive the greatest possible industrial advantage from its impressive science base.

The report also highlights three ways in which the government can help to capitalise on the opportunities for economic growth that the chemical sciences offer as part of a diverse UK science base.

  1. providing internationally competitive levels of research funding and the necessary research infrastructure to
    - attract and retain world-leading researchers and
    - deliver the new knowledge, processes and technologies that will sustain future growth;
  2. creating a supportive financial and regulatory environment and world class opportunities for knowledge transfer and innovation;
  3. fostering the best talent pipeline in the world by meeting students' needs, linking the needs of industry with the education system, and thereby safeguarding UK productivity.

The full report can be downloaded below.

Executive Director 2010-13, Joanne Lyall says:
"We appreciate the Government's support for science, including the publication of the Government's recent Life Sciences Strategy and the commitment in the Autumn Statement to investment of £600m in eight science priority growth areas.  However, we strongly urge the Government to commit further investment in our science base now to enable the UK to compete internationally and to secure opportunities to underpin sustainable economic growth.  Science funding must be linked to inflation to avoid a repeat of the 10% drop we have experienced in real terms, due to the science spending freeze, over the last three years.

"Sustained Government investment in a world-class science base is essential for the UK to thrive in a fast-moving global marketplace and to drive solutions to societal problems such as shortages of food, water, energy and strategic materials combined with the threat of disease and other health issues.   SCI welcomes the opportunity to play our part by connecting science and business to achieve economic growth and create solutions."

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SCI is an inclusive, multi-disciplinary forum connecting scientists and business people to advance the commercial application of chemistry and related sciences for public benefit. SCI is a unique international forum which anyone can join to share and exchange information, ideas, innovations and research. Members can access our growing network of member specialists from sectors as diverse as food and bio-renewables, water, waste and environment, energy, materials and manufacturing and health and well-being.

The Society, in partnership with Wiley-Blackwell, publishes a portfolio of high quality scientific journals and books that attract contributions from scientists worldwide.

Originally established in 1881, SCI is a registered charity with members in over 90 countries.

Notes to editors:

About SCI: where science meets business

SCI is a unique global multidisciplinary network connecting scientists, business people, students and other key players involved in science-based innovation. SCI promotes innovation via its international network to advance the commercial application of science into industry for the benefit of society.

SCI works across crucial sectors as diverse as food and bio-renewables, water, environment, energy, materials and manufacturing, and health and wellbeing.


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