Our high tech future

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

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.