LSW Responds to Nurse Review, Horizon Guarantee Extension, Science and Technology Framework

The Learned Society of Wales has today responded to announcements from the UK government’s Department of Science, Innovation and Technology including the publication of Sir Paul Nurse’s Independent Review of the Research, Development and Innovation Organisational Landscape; the launch of the new Science and Technology Framework; and a further extension to the guarantee to UK’s Horizon Europe applicants.

Professor Hywel Thomas FLSW, President of the Society said:

“We welcome these announcements which underline the UK Government’s ambition to strengthen research, development and innovation (RDI) and the benefits these activities bring across the UK. With the recent publication of the Welsh Government’s innovation strategy for Wales, Wales Innovates, there is much potential for partnership.

“The Nurse review is long-awaited, and we are encouraged that it considers the responsibilities of the devolved governments and administrations within the UK’s RDI landscape, identifying opportunities for drawing on local expertise and knowledge to develop initiatives and to ‘level up’ RDI investment.

“We welcome the report’s appreciation of the role the Learned Society of Wales, and the other national academies, play in terms of creating connections, contributing to policy, and bridging gaps between disciplines and sectors.

“The review underlines the importance of un-hypothecated research funding for HASS and STEMM subjects. As the Society has previously championed, the QR (quality-related) block grant is a basic building block for research activity across all disciplines and is part of the crucial ‘dual support’ system enabling researchers to compete to access large grants from UK and, association to Horizon permitting, European Research Councils.

“We will take time to consider the recommendations fully, in particular the potential benefits and implications for RDI in Wales.

“We commend DSIT’s extension of the Horizon Guarantee, and we reiterate our encouragement for the UK government to deliver on its commitment to associate to Horizon Europe as soon as possible, for the benefit of the research community.

“The Society also welcomes the new Science and Technology Framework and support the view that continued investment in research will bring significant economic, social and cultural benefit now and in the future. To fulfil the ambitions of the framework, expertise and insight from across the UK will be needed, and we look forward to working with colleagues in government to support these aims.”