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Better than expected: Science budget maintained by government

20 October 2010


Chancellor George Osborne has outlined a flat cash settlement for the science and research budget in the Spending Review published today. The science budget of £4.6billion will be maintained in cash terms over four years, which equates to a real terms cut of around 9%.


Sir John Savill, chief executive of the Medical Research Council (MRC), said:

“The worst projections for cuts to the science budget have not been realised. It’s clear that the government has listened to and acted on the evidence showing investment in science is vital to securing a healthy, sustainable and prosperous future.
“There’s still much work to do with our colleagues at the government’s Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) before we’ll know the full implications for individual Research Councils. What we do know is that the UK will retain a strong and vibrant research base, which is able to contribute positively to the health and economy of the UK.
“A flat cash science budget does mean less money for research in real terms and I’m sure that we must continue to seek efficiency gains and increased value for money. Whatever the future circumstances, the MRC will remain guided by its strategic plan and continue to invest in only the highest quality research that makes a difference to people’s lives.”


The £4.6bn science budget is shared between the UK’s seven Research Councils, three national academies; knowledge transfer and Science & Society. It is not clear at this stage how the allocations will be distributed across all these organisations. Delivery plans outlining each Research Council’s approach will be published towards the end of this year.


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