UK must compete

January 2, 2004

Alan Ryan claims (Opinion, THES , December 19/26) that "it is not economically essential to compete with the US at a blue-skies level [since] Japan's growth rate was a compound 7 per cent per annum when its advantage lay in using other people's pure research in manufacturing and electronics". We need to recognise that every pound invested in blue-skies research in the UK comes back with a compound rate of interest that is a lot greater than 7 per cent.

We forget this at our peril, as Japan subsequently learnt.

Douglas Kell
Manchester

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