Osborne gives cash boost to engineering projects
Chancellor George Osborne is targeting collaborative research projects in technologies for automotive, telecoms, healthcare and energy generation.
In his speech to the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham today, the Chancellor said that the government is to triple its contribution to the Research Partnership Investment Fund to £300m, enabling further collaboration between universities, industry and charity donors.
The increase in collaborative resesearch funding was welcomed by the Royal Academy of Engineering.
“This is a particularly encouraging message and endorsement from government of the importance of research and development in creating and underpinning our nation’s future growth,” said Sir John Parker, president of the Royal Academy of Engineering.
Government will add £200m to the Fund, which supports university capital projects.
“Our many universities, operating at the leading edge of research in co-operation with industrial partners, have the ability to lead in the development of world-class products and services that can fuel long term growth and success,” said Parker.
Last week, a report by the Royal Academy of Engineering concluded that the UK does not produce enough engineers.
Around 1.25 million science, engineering and technology professionals and technicians are needed by 2020, including a high proportion of engineers, to support the UK’s economic recovery, concluded the report.
“I am delighted to see that the government is taking on board the message that a proper industrial strategy is essential for effective and sustained economic recovery. Only with such a framework and vision in place can we create ‘the pull’ that defines our future educational and skills needs,” said Parker.
“We must encourage employers to work with universities with the aim of producing more engineers,” said Parker.