Research Council funding clawed back by Government

Added by Stephane Goldstein on 23 February 2007 00:24


The Department of Trade and Industry, which funds the UK Research Councils, has just announced that it is "re-balancing" its budget in order to allow it to meet costs associated with its rescue package for ailing carmaker Rover, as reported by the BBC.

Consequence: ?68 million has been clawed back from the joint Research Council budget in the current spending round.  This has also been commented on by Research Councils UK, whose chief executives are "disappointed that any shortfalls [in the DTI budget] have been made at the expense of investments in research".  They have every right to be, bearing in mind the Government’s oft-stated commitment to increase the UK R&D spend as a proportion of GDP from around 1.9% in 2002 to 2.5% in 2014 (see the Science and Innovation Investment Framework, 2004-2014).



This doesn’t augur well for this year’s Comprehensive Spending Review (see my earlier blog posting on e-Infrastructure investment).  There is already a prevaling mood of pessimism about the implications of the 2007 settlement for public research investment.  This latest piece of news will clearly not provide much reassurance. 

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