April 2019 E-Bulletin
Spring Statement | Brexit | Scottish Research Base | Engaging with the Sector
CaSE responds to 2019 Spring Statement
 
Set against the backdrop of ongoing political uncertainty, last
month's Spring Statement saw welcome steps and missed opportunities for science and engineering.

CaSE was delighted with positive changes to visa regulations announced by the ChancellorPhD-level occupations will be exempt from the cap on high-skilled visas, and overseas research activity will count as continuous residence in the UK for the purpose of researchers applying for settlement. CaSE 
has long called for changes to these rules and we are delighted  that Government has listened and acted.

However the Statement did not make substantial progress towards the Government's pledge to increase R&D investment to 2.4% of GDP by 2027.  CaSE has set out its own model showing the growth in R&D investment required to reach this goal, as well as analysing where pledged increases in public R&D spending are being administered, and overseas investment trends towards reaching this target. 

In May CaSE will be publishing a policy briefing setting out recommendations on what actions the Government should take on public R&D, private investment, and people and skills, to help raise R&D activity towards meeting the 2.4% goal. We will be sharing these recommendations with policy-makers and members over the coming months.
Brexit and Science
 
Earlier this year CaSE published its evidence to the House of Commons Science & Technology Committee inquiry into preparations for a 'No-Deal' Brexit.

The term 'no deal' is rarely defined. Under the definition assumed by CaSE in its submission, including no transition period and no negotiated 'side deals', there are very serious implications for UK science and engineering, across people, funding and regulation, both in the short and longer term.

To avoid a 'no deal' Brexit, we would urge Parliament to work together in reaching a consensus that supports science and engineering. Such an agreement must provide a firm basis for enabling a long-lasting and fruitful future scientific partnership with the EU.
Ensuring a flourishing research base for Scotland

Last month CaSE was delighted to hold a joint panel event with the Royal Society of Edinburgh , reflecting on the key challenges and opportunities for the Scottish research base from both a UK-wide and Scottish perspective. 

The discussion was led by an esteemed panel representing UKRI, the Scottish Funding Council, the Royal Society of Edinburgh and CaSE, with a wide array of questions from the audience. You can read a full summary of the event here.

The event was proceeded by a roundtable discussion examining the Scottish research and innovation landscape attended by CaSE organisational members and other key Scottish stakeholders.
Political Engagement

Over the last few months CaSE has been busy sharing our programme of work on the 2.4% investment target, Brexit, and immigration policy. 

We have met with the  Special Advisor to the Universities and Science Minister,  Special Advisor to the Labour Shadow Business Secretary, the  SNP Shadow Immigration Spokesperson, the  Chair of the House of Lords Science & 
Technology Select Committee, and the  Chief Executive of the 
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.  We will be meeting with the Universities and Science Minister shortly.
 
CaSE has also met with officials from HM Treasury, Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Department for Education, Department for Communities and Local Government, UKRI, Government Office for Science, Medical Research Council and the Scottish Funding Council.
CaSE staff

We're delighted to welcome Tasqeen Ahmed who has joined CaSE as a Policy and Public Affairs Officer, on a six-month secondment from the Civil Service Science and Engineering Fast Stream. Tasqeen has an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and a Masters in Cancer & Molecular Pathology and Genomics from Queen Mary University of London, Barts Cancer Institute. 

Elsewhere CaSE's new Assistant Director Daniel Rathbone 
has taken a look back over his first few months in the role.
Engaging with the Science and Engineering Sector

Over recent months CaSE has hosted roundtables, spoken at conferences, and organised visits and meetings across the UK, to ensure that we are maintaining our profile with members and collaborators.

Events and Keynotes

Last month Dr Sarah Main gave her inaugural lecture as CaSE Executive Director at the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy (STEaPP), University College London, entitled 'Can the Political Drive for Science Heal Divisions in Society?' The audience heard from Dr Main on the need to address societal gaps left by the accelerating frontier of research and innovation investment.

Dr Main also gave a keynote speech at the UK Science Park Association's 2019 Conference at Birmingham University, on securing the people and technologies to meet future challenges in science and engineering.

Meanwhile Policy Officer James Tooze gave evidence to the Commons Science and Technology Committee as part their 'My Science Inquiry', recommending that the  Committee review the uptake of and adherence to the Government Chief Scientific Advisor's guidelines on the use of science and engineering advice in policy making.

CaSE also attended events hosted by the Academy of Medical Sciences, All-Party Parliamentary Group of Social Science and Policy, Foundation for Science and Technology, Natural History Museum, Parliamentary & Scientific Committee, Royal Academy of Engineering, Science Museum, and the Strategic Migration Forum, among many others.

Meetings

In recent months CaSE has been travelling across the whole of the UK, including visits to Scotland and the North East, to ensure that we are engaging with CaSE members nationwide. These include Bristol University, Capital City College Group, Dundee University, Northumbria University, Royal Pharmaceutical Society, The Royal Society of Edinburgh, and the University of Liverpool.

CaSE has also held meetings with the British Science Association, British Veterinary Association, EngineeringUK, Fragomen, NCUB, Russell Group, Royal Academy of Engineering, Royal Society, and the Science Media Centre.
Guest Blog 

Dr Martin Turner, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at the BioIndustry Association, on a fantastic 2018 for investment in the UK life science ecosystem.

Tanya Sheridan and Izzie Radford from the Royal Society of Chemistry on how their analysis demonstrates the intangible benefits of participating in EU framework programmes

Our Guest Blog series brings together topical comment and views from members and collaborators across the science and engineering sector. If you would like to write an article for our blog, please get in touch
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