News story

Our high tech future

David Willetts has today set out an ambition to make Britain the best place in the world to do science.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

In a speech at Policy Exchange, Universities and Science Minister David Willetts argued that that our greatest national assets - our universities, our science facilities and researchers - are the best single hope for making our way in the high-tech world of the future, creating jobs and opportunities and boosting high tech economic growth.
David Willetts said:

“If properly nurtured they can ensure that Britain will be up there as a leading location for research in the physical and life sciences and beyond. Britain can be the preferred location for companies’ R&D. We can have world-class industries using cutting-edge technologies. We can have a prosperous future with a role in the world.”

He set out a plan to help Britain become the best place in the world for science and research and announced:

  • An invitation for proposals for a new type of university with a focus on science and technology and on postgraduates. There will be no additional Government funding.
  • The creation of a new Catapult centre in satellite applications, providing businesses with access to orbit test facilities, to develop and demonstrate new technologies.
  • Setting up Leadership Councils in E-Infrastructure and in Synthetic Biology bringing together key players to drive forward private investment and innovation.
  • An ambition for universities funding from external sources to grow by 10% over the next three years.
  • An aim to get more universities into the top 100 in the world.

He also released reports on the impact of research sponsored by the Research Councils and the Government’s e-infrastructure strategy.

Published 4 January 2012