§ 20. Mr. Hopkins
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps are being taken to keep Britain at the forefront of scientific advances. 
§ Ms Hewitt
The Government place great importance on the quality of British science. A strong science base is essential to the knowledge economy. We will increase the303W
level of funding through the Science Budget by an average of 7 per cent. per year, in real terms, over the next three years. We have taken significant steps to reverse the underfunding of university scientific research infrastructure: and we will increase postgraduate student stipends by 23 per cent. in real terms. We have also, and for the first time, allocated funds for an 'e-science' initiative which will enable the development of very high speed computing for the next wave of science. The UK is a good place to do science and many international companies have R&D centres here.