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Image by Konstantin Kolosov from Pixabay
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has today (Monday 21st June) unveiled plans to cement the UK’s status as a “global science superpower”.
As part of the Prime Minister’s ambitions, a new National Science and Technology Council will be established and chaired by the PM himself. One of the council’s focusses will be to set strategy on how science and technology will tackle great societal challenges and transform lives.
Mr Johnson cited the UK's COVID-19 vaccination programme, saying it had proven what the nation can achieve at scale and speed.
"With the right direction, pace and backing, we can breathe life into many more scientific and technological breakthroughs that transform the lives of people across the UK and the world," he said.
Sir Patrick Vallance, the UK’s Chief Scientific Adviser, has also been asked to lead a new Office for Science and Technology Strategy, based in the Cabinet Office. Sir Patrick will assume the new position of national technology adviser alongside his current role.
Among other functions, the new Office for Science and Technology Strategy will strengthen the government’s insight into cutting-edge research and technologies and work across government to put science and technology at the centre of policy and public services.
The Office will also identify what is needed to secure and protect the capability in science and technology required in the UK to deliver the government’s ambitions.
One of the Office for Science and Technology Strategy’s first tasks will be to review the technology bets the UK should back and prioritise for strategic advantage.
To help support the Prime Minister’s ambitions for the UK to regain its place on the global science and technology roster, government spending for scientific research of all kinds will be increased to £22 billion by 2025, up from nearly £15 billion a year at present.
You can read more about the Prime Minister’s ambitions on the UK Government website here: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/prime-ministers-article-in-the-daily-telegraph-21-june-2021
Are you considering a career in the science and technology industry? It’s certainly a very exciting time to be a part of the sector and the Prime Minister’s announcement paints a positive picture for the future.