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UK signs landmark science and technology agreement with US

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21 Sept 2017

Jo Johnson, Universities and Science Minister, has signed a pioneering UK-US Science and Technology Agreement, in a commitment to strengthen the relationship between the two nations and their respective economies, and help boost scientific research.

Johnson signed the agreement on Wednesday 20 September while in the US alongside Judith G Garber, US Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.

The agreement acts as the first umbrella agreement based on scientific research collaboration between the two countries, with an emphasis on building ‘world-class’ research and continuing existing successful collaborations. Focusing on the value of open-access papers and shared data between the US and UK was also deemed a priority.

Jo Johnson said of the agreement: ‘The UK is known as a nation of science and technical progress, with research and development being at the core of our Industrial Strategy. By working with our key allies, we are maintaining our position as a global leader in research for years to come.’

This follows discussions between President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Theresa May during the latter’s visit to the White House in January. May is believed to be relying on a ‘special relationship’ with the US in trade and other areas to soften the effects of Brexit.

Sir Mark Walport, Chief Executive Designate at UK Research and Innovation, who was also in attendance said: ‘Research and innovation are global endeavours. Agreements like the one signed today by the United Kingdom and the United States set the framework for the great discoveries of the future.’

It ‘also send a clear signal that UK researchers are outward looking and ready to work with the best talent wherever that may be. UK Research and Innovation is looking forward to extending partnerships in science and innovation around the world,’ he said.

SCI response

SCI welcomes the news of the UK-US Science and Technology Agreement. As an organisation with strong ties to the US – our American counterpart SCI America has been successfully encouraging and supporting industrial chemistry and innovation for nearly 125 years – we are excited for further opportunities to strengthen our relationship and further scientific research and industry.

SCI today continues to work at the interface between science and industry, conducting a range of activities that focus on supporting innovation and the commercialisation of science. So as ever, we are pleased to see a continued commitment to the Industrial Strategy from the government and hope to support our members in the UK and across the pond in pursuit of collaboration and world-class science.

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