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RCUK welcomes the Government’s vision for the future of British industry

11 September 2012

Research Councils UK (RCUK) welcomes the strategy for the future of British Industry, announced today (11 September 2012) by Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, which outlines a strong commitment to innovation and growth.

By investing in and nurturing the world class UK research base, the Research Councils ensure that the UK is an attractive place to locate; invest in; and grow businesses. Research collaboration with business is essential to convert new knowledge into economic growth, and the Research Councils have many strategic partnerships with businesses of every size to enable them to work with cutting edge UK researchers. For example, in 2009, EPSRC and Rolls Royce agreed a 10-year, £50 million Strategic Partnership in the area of structural materials. This partnership is now delivering both research and training that is providing new knowledge and developing skilled people that will help to achieve the growth objectives of the industrial strategy.

Delivering a speech about the Industrial Strategy, Dr Cable highlighted the role of emerging technologies such as synthetic biology in “supporting sustained economic growth in the UK” and announced that the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), along with the Research Councils and other partners, will be establishing an Innovation and Knowledge Centre (IKC) for Synthetic Biology. The Research Councils look forward to working closely with TSB to establish the new IKC in this important area.

RCUK also welcomes the Government’s long-term commitment to world-class skills and the £140m boost for the skills that businesses need. The Research Councils are committed to the career development, high-level skills and training of researchers to ensure the excellence of the UK research base and of the UK workforce, supporting over 30,000 researchers at any one time. By supporting a flow of highly skilled people into the wider economy, as well as two-way exchange between universities and other sectors, the Research Councils help to drive innovation and growth.

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Further information

Katie Clark
Press and Communications Manager
Tel: 01793 444592 or email: Katie Clark

Notes to editors

  1. A fuller welcome to the announcement of the IKC in Synthetic Biology from TSB, BBSRC and EPSRC is available here.

  2. Research Councils UK (RCUK) is the strategic partnership of the UK's seven Research Councils who annually invest around £3 billion in research. We support excellent research, as judged by peer review, that has an impact on the growth, prosperity and wellbeing of the UK. To maintain the UK’s global research position we offer a diverse range of funding opportunities, foster international collaborations and provide access to the best facilities and infrastructure around the world. We also support the training and career development of researchers and work with them to inspire young people and engage the wider public with research. To maximise the impact of research on economic growth and societal wellbeing we work in partnership with other research funders including the Technology Strategy Board, the UK Higher Education funding bodies, business, government, and charitable organisations.

    The seven UK Research Councils are:

    • Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC);
    • Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC);
    • Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC);
    • Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC);
    • Medical Research Council (MRC);
    • Natural Environment Research Council (NERC);
    • Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC).