In positive news for UK science research, the Minister for Universities and Science, Jo Johnson, yesterday announced increased funding for science research and outreach. Delivering the annual `Campaign for Science and Engineering’ (CaSE) lecture (27 January), Jo Johnson’s speech highlighted the strength of the UK’s research partnerships with Europe and the rest of the world: about half of all UK research publications now involve international collaborations.
- Doubling the Newton Fund for international research from its current £75 million per year to £150 million per year by 2021, meaning a total investment of £735 million from 2014 to 2021. The fund will enable UK scientists to partner with academics and researchers in developing countries and emerging markets to support their economic development and the UK’s research base. Established in 2014, 181 programmes have been supported through the Newton Fund. Projects are co-funded by the partner country, helping to unlock further investment
- A new government partnership with the Wellcome Trust to deliver the £30 million Inspiring Science Capital Fund. The Fund will enable Science Centres and to grow their STEM outreach activities through the creation of new exhibitions, as well as science laboratory and education spaces to better accommodate schools and visiting groups. Applicants will need to demonstrate how the funding would engage underserved and underrepresented audiences.
- Jo Johnson’s speech also highlighted the strength of the UK’s research partnerships with Europe. The UK received €7 billion under the last Framework Programme (2007 to 2013), making the UK one of the largest beneficiaries of EU research funding. In the current funding round, Horizon 2020, the UK has secured 15.4% of funds, behind only Germany on 16.5%, and with the second largest number of participating organisations.
Further information can be found https://www.gov.uk/government/news/johnson-sets-out-measures-to-make-uk-best-place-in-world-to-do-science