This item was published during the term of a previous administration that ended in April 2007
Henry McLeish welcomes approval of Science Strategy by independent report
Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning, Henry McLeish welcomed the publication today of the Council for Science and Technology's first report that backs the need for a science strategy.
In a letter to Sir Robin Nicholson, who led the Council's review of science and technology in government departments, Mr McLeish said:
"I am very pleased that the conclusions and recommendations detailed in the report endorse the Executive's vision for science in Scotland - and actions we have already taken.
"The development of science in Scotland is crucial to our economic future. We already have an excellent science base and it is sensible to build on that strength, to promote technology and innovation in our business community.
"This government has pledged to encourage the transformation of ideas from our labs into successful businesses and will support the establishment of a Scottish Institute of Enterprise by the 2001.
"Last week I announced details of a new Scottish Executive Science Strategy Group. I am confident that the findings and recommendations in the Council's report will influence the Group's consideration of how we take this common agenda forward in Scotland.
"I recognise that this means that we are adopting a slightly different approach to that announced earlier today by Lord Sainsbury. I have no difficulty with that because I am confident that this will promote effective and appropriately inter-related policies for science in both Scotland and the UK as a whole. And that is what devolution is about."
NOTES FOR NEWS EDITORS
Background on the Council for Science and Technology
1. The Council for Science and Technology (CST) is the Prime Minister's top level advisory body on medium to longer term strategic issues concerning the Government's policies and framework for ensuring that science and technology meet the needs of the United Kingdom. Its core task is to keep under review and make recommendations on ways of improving:
· the performance of the UK (public and private) in S&T, in relation to current and future national needs and opportunities;
· the overall impact of the funding arrangements for publicly supported S&T including those for research in higher education institutions;
· the effective use and exploitation of S&T by business, Government and the public services to create wealth and improve our quality of life; and
· the synergy between the UK's domestic and international S&T activities and the scope for the UK to get more benefit from S&T collaboration.
Background to the CST review
2. The report emphasises the importance of science and technology (S&T) and the central role it plays in the work of Government Departments. It calls for a more forward looking, strategic approach to the use of S&T, and recommends that there should be greater co-ordination between Departments, and with others involved in R&D in both the public and private sectors, in the UK and overseas. It also proposes that the Government should undertake a radical review, in co-operation with our EU partners, of the existing arrangements for European collaboration on R&D; and that departments should take stock of the supply of, and career opportunities for people with appropriate knowledge and expertise to understand and interpret scientific and technical issues.
3. The full report is on the CST website (http://www.cst.gov.uk) which also contains further information on its constitution, membership, role and current work programme. Copies of the CST report are also available from the Office of Science & Technology, Room 1/1 Albany House, 94-98 Petty France, London SW1H 9ST.
Background to Scottish Executive Science Strategy Review Group
4. A new Scottish Executive Science Strategy Review Group was announced on 8 September. Its remit is "to identify the questions that need to be addressed in order to put in place a Science Strategy for the Scottish Executive; to identify what additional mechanisms would be required to answer these questions and to implement such a strategy; to report by the end of January 2000."
News Release: SE0593/99
13 September, 1999