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UK maintains science budget, potentially more cash for life sciences projects


The UK government on Wednesday pledged to maintain science cash funding in 2015-2016, providing additional funding for initiatives that have backed life science research projects.

According to details of the government's comprehensive spending review published on the HM Treasury website, science funding will remain stable at £4.6 billion in 2015-16.


An additional £185 million will be provided to the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) to support funding initiatives such as Catapult Centres and the Biomedical Catalyst, which have supported life sciences projects.


Science capital funding will increase from £600 million in the current financial year to £1.1 billion in 2015-16, and in line with inflation in 2016-2017.


The overall science capital budget will grow in line with inflation each year until 2020-2021, according to the document.


Stephen Whitehead, Chief Executive of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) trade body, said in a statement:


"I am pleased the government has chosen to sustain its investment in the science budget and reverse cuts to science infrastructure.


"The UK is a world leader in science, attracting the brightest and best researchers and continued funding will allow us to maintain first rate research facilities and train the scientists of tomorrow."


Steve Bates, Chief Executive of the BioIndustry Association (BIA), added:


"The BIA is delighted that the government will continue to support the Biomedical Catalyst, one of the key measures in its Strategy for UK Life Sciences, which has been warmly received across the sector.


"I am meeting with the TSB next week to understand the details of how this funding will be scheduled and allocated."



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