Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled plans to cement the UK’s position as a global science superpower that will help generate ideas that drive solutions for the public good. These plans will be driven forward by the Office for Science and technology strategy and the new ministerial council.
The council’s new responsibilities include using science and technology to transform and tackle social challenges and improve lives and build on UKs Scientific expertise and boost prosperity around the world
These ambitions will be realized with the help of a new National Science and Technology Council chaired by the Prime Minister. The council will use science and technology to provide strategic direction and tools to confront societal.
Sir Patrick Vallance, the Chief Scientific Adviser, will head the new Office for Science and Technology Strategy, based in the Governments Cabinet Office. He will take up his new role as the National Technology Adviser (in addition to his current role as the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser) and head of the Government Office for Science.
This office will support the National Technology Advisor and the ministerial council to push forward the strategies and priorities of Whitehall science and technology from the centre. The office will fortify the government’s insight into front-line research and technologies. It will work across the government to put science and technology at the forefront of all policy and public services. Another aim of the office is to identify what is required to secure and safeguard the capability of science and technology needed in the UK to come through on the governments’ goals.
The Nationwide success of the vaccine roll out programs has shown the wonders of science and that it can deliver tangible and significant benefit to people’s lives around the world; and protecting peoples against coronavirus and enabling societies to reopen and get back to business as usual.
The Prime Minister is also tasking the UK Government on developing technology to achieve net-zero status in the coming years, curing cancer and protecting citizens abroad and at home.
The Office for Science and Technology Strategy’s first task is to review technological bets the UK should invest in and prioritize them according to strategic advantage. PM Boris Johnson said the success of the vaccination program showed what the UK is capable of in terms of scale and speed. He believes that once the pace is set in the right direction, new life can be breathed into scientific and technological breakthroughs, that will transform lives within the UK and across its borders.
It is the mission of the new ministerial council and office – to realize the endless possibilities that research and technology have to offer and to establish the UK as a global science superpower.
Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said that “The new Office for Science and Technology Strategy will put science and technology right at the heart of policy-making and strengthen the way we work across government to reinforce the position of the UK as a science superpower. I look forward to working with the National Science and Technology Council to help identify cutting-edge research and technologies that will deliver strategic advantage for the UK.”
The government has set aside £14.9 billion in Research & Development for the year 2021 to 2022. It is the highest budget for R&D in the UK in four decades.