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Consultation response reminder: BIS open consultation on proposals for long-term capital investment in science and research

The consultation issued by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) at the end of April on Science and Research closes in a fortnight. RCUK will be responding to this welcome consultation and also encourages the research community to respond before the 4 July closing date.

Research Council statements welcoming the consultation response can be found here:

Maintaining access to a full range of world-class research infrastructure, either in the UK or abroad, is vital if the UK is to remain a leading centre of research excellence

Unlocking research opportunities often requires highly technical and expensive infrastructure and importantly needs investment in human capital and skills sets to maximise the use and best application of research infrastructure. Continued investment is therefore essential in both ‘people and kit’ to enable the UK to maintain its world-leading position in research and to continue to make vital contributions to economic growth and social wellbeing.

The nature of facilities is also evolving, so as well as the traditional large physical installations, they increasingly include networked resources and skill / capacity building initiatives. These resources use advances in information and communications technology and the big data revolution to underpin new collaborative methods of research.

In 2012 RCUK’s Investing for Growth: Capital Infrastructure for the 21st Century was launched. This strategic Framework addresses UK research investment needs to:

  • develop an underpinning national infrastructure which supports the UK’s capability for excellent research and technology development; and
  • guide capital investment to meet the highest priority challenges and opportunities of tomorrow.

In addition in 2013 RCUK provided evidence to the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee inquiry into scientific infrastructure .

In 2014 the RCUK response to the BIS capital investment consultation will build on these positions.

The Government’s ambition is to make the UK the best place in the world to do science and research. This is why the government is making a long-term commitment to invest in science and research infrastructure. The BIS consultation seeks views from the science community about how funds should be invested following the government's commitment to increase the annual capital investment budget from £600m to £1.1bn in 2015-16 and beyond. In the autumn the government will publish a ‘Science capital roadmap’. It will set out the long-term plan for a world-leading science and research infrastructure and this consultation is seeking evidence to help inform the development of this plan.

You can respond online or by email to

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Further information

Nicholas Turner
Press and Communications Manager
Tel: 01793 444592 or email: Nicholas Turner

Notes to editors

Research Councils UK (RCUK) is the strategic partnership of the UK's seven Research Councils who annually invest around £3 billion in research. We support excellent research, as judged by peer review, that has an impact on the growth, prosperity and wellbeing of the UK. To maintain the UK’s global research position we offer a diverse range of funding opportunities, foster international collaborations and provide access to the best facilities and infrastructure around the world. We also support the training and career development of researchers and work with them to inspire young people and engage the wider public with research. To maximise the impact of research on economic growth and societal wellbeing we work in partnership with other research funders including the Technology Strategy Board, the UK Higher Education funding bodies, business, government, and charitable organisations.

The seven UK Research Councils are:

  • Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC);
  • Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC);
  • Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC);
  • Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC);
  • Medical Research Council (MRC);
  • Natural Environment Research Council (NERC);
  • Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

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