We are pleased to draw your attention to a really great piece of research commissioned by the Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE). The report, entitled “The Economic Significance of the UK Science Base” and written by economists Jonathan Haskel, Alan Hughes and Elif Bascavusoglu-Moreau, provides solid evidence that spending public money on science is important for economic growth in the UK. Briefly, the research shows that public investment in scientific research leads to a boost in private sector productivity and attracts private investment from overseas. Far from competing, the two camps synergize as knowledge is exchanged through a wide variety of mechanisms. The authors estimate that the average return on public investment in the science base is 20% – a very significant and encouraging figure. Overall, these findings suggest that calls for the government to increase funding of science and engineering are well justified if we want to keep our economy resilient and strong.
Jennifer Rohn, Chair of Science is Vital, said: “We warmly welcome this fantastic report, which confirms our core belief that science is vital for the UK economy. We call on this government – and the next – to listen to the evidence and make a significant investment in our science base, which has been declining in real terms for several years now.”
Stephen Curry, Vice-chair of Science is Vital and a board member of CaSE, added: “This is a rigorous and important piece of analysis. It helps to establish that the science base is a crucial part of the UK infrastructure – one that deserves protection and investment if we are to thrive among our international competitors.”