Feeds

UK government's science project gets mixed report

Not bad, but could do better

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

The government has issued its first annual report on the ten-year, billion-pound framework on science and innovation investment. Although it says the road ahead will be tough, it has found some reasons for optimism.

The numbers of students applying to study Physics at A-level fell again in 2004/2005, but applications for places on Biology and Chemistry courses were up, slightly, in the same period.

Recruiting science teachers was tougher, with the 2005 figures not quite matching the previous year. However, the numbers are still better than 2001, and the report says "higher financial incentives from 2005" could boost recruitment further.

The report warns that despite this, there is still a shortage of people with science, engineering, technology and mathematics (STEM) skills. More work, then, must still be done.

The stated goal of the framework is to raise the UK's total investment in research and development to 2.5 per cent of GDP by 2014. In line with yesterday's European findings, the UK government noted that business investment in R&D is somewhat stagnant, partly because UK owned businesses tend to be in relatively low-R&D-intensity sectors.

Although investment rose by two per cent over the year, it needs to rise faster, the report says. Smaller, UK-owned businesses will be key to making that happen, and the government wants to see more of its funding R&D going to these small players.

The government also published a discussion paper (pdf) on the so-called Enhanced R&D Tax-Credit system, one of the main ways it wants to encourage businesses to invest more in research. It acknowledges that the system has had some teething problems, and sets out its plans for improving things in the future.

The full report is here (pdf). ®

Related stories

R&D and skills crisis looms for Europe
UK could be a tech giant: report
Solar-powered cars to race 2,500 miles

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?