Scientists back findings of Commons report

Norwich Research Park. Picture HexCam

Norwich Research Park. Picture HexCam - Credit: Archant

Calls from MPs to provide more cash to help scientists turn ideas into products have been welcomed by Norfolk scientists.

A cross-party Commons report has found that three decades of under-investment has threatened UK economic growth and left the UK trailing behind the USA, Germany and France.

As politicians are set to earmark where the axe will fall in the next parliament, the Business, Innovation and Skills committee has warned that research and development spending must be protected.

John Innes Centre professor, Cathie Martin, said that while public institutions had increasingly recognised the value of discoveries coming from fundamental research, they had real problems in moving beyond the patent and licence model in bringing their discoveries to consumers.

She warned that there was intellectual property 'stranded' all over the world, but particularly in the UK.

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'In such cases a product is needed to put it in the market.

'This is where support for research and development is vital, and can be realised only by supporting genuine commercial-academic collaborations.'

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Director of the Genome Analysis Centre, Mario Caccamo, who is also based at the Norwich Research Park, said investment in scientific innovation will have a lasting effect, ensuring a sustainable economic growth for the UK.

How important is science funding? Write (with full contact details) to: The Letters Editor, EDP, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE

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