In its report, 'the scientific century: securing our future prosperity' the Royal Society warns that the UK’s current advantage is in danger of being wiped out by the US, China, India, France and Germany who have ramped up spending in science to boost their economies.
The report highlights last year's announcement of a $21 billion boost for science in the US and recent claims from American scientists that they will steal our finest minds if UK investment slips. The report also draws attention to a recent €35 billion investment in the 'knowledge economy' by France, a commitment from the German government to increase their federal budget for education and research by €12 billion by 2013 and the year on year increase of 20% in China's science spending over the last decade.
To maximise the economic opportunities from science the Royal Society report recommends:
- Creating a 15 year framework for science and innovation, with increased spending
- Prioritising investment in scientific skills and infrastructure, such as laboratories and equipment
- Expanding the R&D tax credit.