HC Deb 15 September 2004 vol 424 cc1631-2W
Sue Doughty

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will estimate the proportion of the United Kingdom total science spending which is fully independent of commercial interests; and what trends the Government have identified relating to past and future variations in this proportion of science spending in the UK. [188076]

Ms Hewitt

The Government's commitment to the continuing excellence of UK science was reinforced by the outcome of the 2004 Spending Review, in which it announced annual real growth in the public science base of 5.8 per cent., through the DTI and DES, which will see it climb to over £5 billion by 2007. That is more than a billion pounds more than this year and nearly double the expenditure in 1997. The Government fully recognise the role that public and private organisations including businesses and charities play in the investment of the science base. As, outlined in the Science and Innovation Framework 2004–14, we aim to further encourage collaboration between the various organisations. No estimate has been made of the proportion of the total spend which is fully independent of such interests.