Britain to invest record $37 bn in science

London, March 4 (IANS) Britain is to invest a record $37 billion in science, the government’s science minister Jo Johnson said on Friday.

She outlined how the government’s commitment will put Britain at the forefront of research to tackle some of the planet’s greatest challenges such as flooding, famine and viral diseases like Ebola, Xinhua reported.

Announcing a record 26.3 billion pounds ($37.21 billion) budget for science for the next five years from April 2016, Johnson confirmed the government will continue to protect the science resource budget in real-terms and will continue to invest in scientific infrastructure on a record scale between now and 2021.

The budget also includes the introduction of $2.1 billion Global Challenges Research Fund which will be used to invest in British science projects and businesses looking to tackle some of the planet’s life-threatening issues.

Johnson said: “From the invention of the lightbulb to the creation of the world wide web, the British scientists have been instrumental in many of the world’s most significant discoveries, and we are determined to continue this legacy on a global scale.”

It was also confirmed that funding for higher education will include $566 million to foster and strengthen university collaboration with the private sector through the British Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF) from 2018 till 2021.

A spokesman for the Department for Business, Skills and Innovation said the new allocations announced on Friday will mean that over the course of the current five-year parliament, the government will have invested $43 billion in science, including $9.8 billion in capital infrastructure.

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