Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosted the Council for Science and Technology at Downing Street.
The Prime Minister hosted the Council for Science and Technology at Downing Street on 4 March.
Investing in science and talent is a key priority for the Prime Minister. The Council advises the Prime Minister on science and technology policy issues across government and is chaired by Sir Patrick Vallance, the Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor, and Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor of Manchester University. Science Minister Amanda Solloway also joined the meeting, along with other members of the Council.
At the meeting today, the Prime Minister set out his priorities for science, research and innovation. He championed science as a key part of his levelling up agenda, and the role of scientists in tackling the policy challenges of the coming decades. The Prime Minister asked the Council to define their “moon-shots” for UK science, their ideas for where the UK should aim high, for example across healthcare, transport, energy and robotics.
He re-affirmed the government’s pledge to invest in science and significantly boost R&D funding that will help unite and level up the country, calling on the Council to look at what science can do to drive this agenda.
The Prime Minister has already taken significant steps to ensure the UK is more open to global scientific ideas and talent than ever before. For example, the new fast-track Global Talent visa for international scientists, researchers and mathematicians is now open for applications, and the government has launched a major review into cutting down research bureaucracy like application form-filling. The Council also spoke about plans to develop the necessary infrastructure to boost research and development, such as the new UK Advanced Research Projects Agency for high-risk, high-pay-off research. This will ultimately tackle some of the world’s greatest challenges, including climate change and delivering net zero emissions by 2050.
The Council agreed to develop its thinking on answering and addressing the priorities outlined by the Prime Minister and the government.