£600m research infrastructure investment - Autumn Statement 2012

05 December 2012

Commenting on the Chancellor’s announcement of an additional £600 million for scientific research infrastructure in the Autumn Statement, Dr Wendy Piatt, Director General of the Russell Group of universities, said:

“The Chancellor is right to put science and research at the heart of the Government’s growth strategy. 

“World-leading scientific research, advanced technology and first-rate infrastructure do not come cheap, but this investment will pay dividends. 

“First-rate university research delivers everything from groundbreaking industrial processes to medical breakthroughs and improvements to our quality of life - not to mention the multi-billion pound economic benefits.

“As our global competitors – especially in Asia – pump billions into their research bases, it is increasingly vital that the Government demonstrates its commitment to maintaining the UK’s place as a global leader in science and research.” 

Notes for editors

  1. In October the Russell Group published a major report on the impact of research at our universities and a film demonstrating the benefit of business-university collaborations.
  2. The UK’s investment of 0.56% of public expenditure in higher education is one of the lowest in the OECD. Even including private expenditure on higher education this was still only 1.3% of GDP, well below the OECD average (1.6%), half that of the USA (2.6%) and below South Korea, Australia, Canada, France, the Netherlands, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Chile, Argentina, Russia, and comparable to India. (Source: OECD education at a glance 2012 (data refer to 2009).
  3. Over 2010-11: the 24 Russell Group universities accounted for 71% of the IP income generated by UK universities; the estimated turnover from companies spun out from the 24 Russell Group universities was 49% of the total sector; active spin outs from Russell Group universities accounted for 63% of those which survived for three years.

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