Feeds

UK's future depends on science and technology

Holders of government science budgets delighted

High performance access to file storage

Lord Sainsbury has called for an overhaul of the way science and technology is taught in Britain, saying that without a new approach we risk losing our place in the global economy. He says more specialist science teachers must be trained or recruited, and that science students must be given better careers advice.

The report, entitled Race to the Top, sets out how Britain must change if it is to compete with emerging economies. Sainsbury says we can maintain our edge by investing in research and moving the economy into high value goods and services. The alternative - a race to the bottom - is inevitable if companies maintain a myopic focus on lowering costs.

Lord Sainsbury, a former minister for science and innovation, was asked to trawl through the government's policies relating to science, technology, investment, and education.

He makes several other key recommendations: The government should give more support to universities trying to spin out companies based on their research, and set so-called knowledge transfer targets for universities; put the Technology Strategy Board in charge of working with the research councils to better coordinate research efforts; and simplify the way businesses can get access to funds.

The review was broadly welcomed by all the major science bodies. The Institute of Physics (IoP), the Royal Society, and the newly elevated Technology Strategy Board all issued statements praising the ex-minister's plans to invigorate science and technology in the UK.

Royal Society president Martin Rees said the review is a timely reminder of the role science plays in the economy. He warned that a fragmented approach to science and innovation means Britain does not always fully capitalise on its resources.

There was a note of caution raised by the IoP, however. Chief executive Dr Robert Kirby-Harris said: "While it is important that the economic impact of science research can be considered during funding applications, there is a danger that basic research in more speculative areas could be neglected. Some of the most important scientific innovations in the past century and a half have been the result of basic research that had no specific economic end in mind."

He also argued that the government needs to be more open to ideas from science-based businesses when they award procurement contracts, and said that only time would tell if the people in charge of the cash were able to make this cultural shift. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Fancy joining Reg hack on quid-a-day challenge?
Recruiting now for charity starvation diet
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
KILLER ROBOTS, DNA TAMPERING and PEEPING CYBORGS: the future looks bright!
Americans optimistic about technology despite being afraid of EVERYTHING
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.