David Jones, Minister of State at the Department for Exiting the EU, has visited Daresbury Laboratory to listen to the views of the science and technology sector ahead of negotiations to leave the EU.
Daresbury Laboratory is a world leading facility for scientific research run by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).
During yesterday’s visit, Mr Jones met with Dr Tim Bestwick, Executive Director of Business and Innovation at STFC and Director of SciTech Daresbury and Professor Susan Smith, Head of Daresbury Laboratory as well as a number of SMEs on site.
He underlined how the decision taken by the people to leave the EU will enable the science and technology sector to seize new opportunities and made it clear that the government is confident of getting a good deal for Britain that makes the most of the new freedoms Brexit will afford us.
Science and technology is an important sector to the economy and to the development of the Northern Powerhouse. The UK consistently ranks in the top 5 countries for university-industry collaboration in research and development.
Sci-Tech Daresbury is one of two national science and innovation campuses, which supports scientists, researchers and industry by providing a collaborative and innovative environment to perform cutting-edge research.
Minister of State for Exiting the European Union David Jones said:
The country voted to leave the EU and we need to seize the huge and exciting opportunities that will flow from Britain’s new place in the world.
Liverpool is in a strong position; employment in the North West is up by 201,000 since 2010 and Liverpool itself contributes £28.3 billion to the economy each year. But we need a dialogue about both the challenges and opportunities that leaving the EU possess for different sectors in the economy.
That’s why I’m listening to experts views in Daresbury about how the EU affects the science and technology sector. This engagement is vital and I’m confident that by working together we will get a deal that safeguards the sector’s bright future.
Dr Tim Bestwick Executive Director of Business and Innovation at STFC, said:
The UK plays a lead role in global science discoveries and in the design and provision world-class international facilities, embodied by the excellent work here at Daresbury Laboratory and Sci-Tech Daresbury.
Global collaboration allows us to forge strong relationships on which new markets and commercial opportunities can be built. Our goal is to maintain the UK as the best place in the world to do research, innovate, and grow your business.
The visit was part of an ongoing series of engagements across the North West with organisations, companies and institutions in order to build a national consensus around the UK’s negotiating position.
During the day, the Minister also visited Manchester Airport, Airport City and MediaCityUK and attended a roundtable hosted by the Manchester Growth Company. This engagement includes understanding how EU legislation affects each sector and what risks and opportunities people see as the UK exits the EU.