Public consultation will determine what £7 billion of capital funding will be spent on
The UK government is asking the scientific community what the portion of the science budget set aside for infrastructure should be spent on over the next five years.
Capital spending will increase in real terms to £1.1 billion over the next financial year, and will then increase in line with inflation every year until 2020-21. Alongside this increase, the government has promised to put together a long-term plan for spending on science infrastructure, and has launched a consultation seeking suggestions from scientists, institutions, businesses and learned bodies about where the money should go. As well as inviting new ideas, the consultation suggests several projects and research areas that could be supported, and asks which should be prioritised.
Speaking at the UK’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology, chancellor George Osborne invited contributions from researchers: ‘It’s over to you. The government is committing a historic £7 billion to science investment. We’re asking you, the science community, how best to invest that funding, how to maintain excellence and where are the new opportunities that will put Britain ahead in the global race.’
The consultation will run until 4 July and will report back in autumn.