Reaction to Spending Review and Autumn Statement from around UCL
25 November 2015
There has been reaction from around UCL to the Spending Review and Autumn Statement speech given earlier today by the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, setting out the government's spending plans to 2019/20.
Professor David Price, Vice-Provost (Research) said: "We welcome the Government's commitment to protect today's £4.7 billion science resource funding in real terms for the duration of the Parliament. The new Global Challenges fund and further investments in research capital are also positive steps that will provide many opportunities for UCL researchers.
Professor Price also commented on the Chancellor's confirmation that the Government will implement in full the recommendations of the Nurse Review of the research councils. "Implementing the Nurse Review and creating Research UK has the potential to support the ongoing success of UK research, but we are conscious that the risks around restructuring may also be disruptive. We hope that this implementation includes heeding the many wise principles on the use of research funding that Sir Paul highlights, including preserving the spirit of the science ring-fence as well as the Haldane principle."
£138m funding for major collaborative research
UCL is to host the coordination node for the UK Collaboratorium for Research in Infrastructure and Cities (UKCRIC) which has secured £138 million of funding, to be match funded from other sources, as part of today's review.
UKCRIC is a collaboration of 14 UK universities which aims to provide a knowledge base to ensure the long-term functioning of the UK's transport systems, energy systems, clean water supplies, waste management, flood defences and the development of SMART infrastructures.
Professor Brian Collins, UCL Science, Technology, Engineering & Public Policy, who chairs the Coordination Node, said: "UKCRIC is the first step to creating long term partnerships between the people who build our infrastructure, the people who regulate and fund it, the people who own and operate it, and those of us who study how it works and is used. We have the privilege of working with 13 other universities involved in UKCRIC, and this kind of partnership is vital if we are to have infrastructure that continues to support the well-being of the UK economy, environment, and people."
Commitment to new Dementia Institute
Professor Alan Thompson, Dean of the UCL Faculty of Brain Sciences, said: "We welcome the government's sustained commitment to tackling dementia and commend them for following through with a firm investment for a national Dementia Research Institute. This will galvanise the UK's response to address the critical, and growing, challenge of dementia which already affects 35 million people worldwide.
"At UCL we have a huge concentration of world-class scientists and clinicians dedicated to tackling dementia and we hope to bring this expertise to bear to deliver real research advances and new therapeutic options. We must all work together to make best use of the focus and the investment that this Institute will provide. UCL is ready to play its part - working with the government, other universities, charities and industry to address the dementia challenge head-on."
- The Palace of Westminster at night as seen from the opposite side of the River Thames. (Credit: David Iliff, License: CC-BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)