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Broader science investment needed

by AprilSix Proof

Guardian: UK must invest in training and business links as well as facilities

This week the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) launched the Core Capability for Chemistry Research, £15m worth of funding designed to reinvigorate the university research base across the UK.

Richard Walker, the physical sciences programme manager at the Royal Society of Chemistry, has written on the Guardian’s Science Blog welcoming the investment. This focus on scientific infrastructure, he writes, should be taken as a sign of the government’s awareness of the importance of broader scientific investment.

He stresses the need for continued investment in the ‘triple-helix’ capacity of universities, namely research, training, and strong links with business.

Despite the celebrations, he writes, “This £15m has upgraded equipment at only 15 universities and provided funding for equipment in only four techniques. Chemists have become increasingly adept at sharing equipment where it’s feasible, but there are far more excellent researchers than this money can reach. This investment is a one-off boost, not a long-term strategy for maintaining our strength.”

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