Medical research gets overhaul

December 15, 2006

Chancellor Gordon Brown has dropped plans for a single unified fund for UK health research, as exclusively predicted by The Times Higher last month.

In his Pre-Budget Speech last week, the Chancellor announced a new Office for the Strategic Co-ordination of Health Research, which would co-ordinate the work of the Medical Research Council, the Department of Health and the new National Institute for Health Research.

He rejected plans for a single research pot, which scientists feared could undermine basic research.

John Bell, regius professor of medicine at Oxford University, who last month became president of the Academy of Medical Sciences, will be interim chair of the OSCHR.

In his report last week, Mr Brown also confirmed the following:

  • The introduction of an "earn-to-learn" programme to enable people to gain graduate qualifications while they are still in work
  • New summer universities along with work experience and coaching to motivate young people to stay on in education after the age of 16
  • Consultation on £2,000 bursaries for children in care
  • Education investment in schools, colleges and university buildings to rise to £10.2 billion in 2010-11.

The Chancellor also welcomed Gowers review of intellectual property, which recommends that the UK Patent Office be restructured as the UK Intellectual Property Office.

The review says that libraries and archives need exceptions to copyright to preserve human knowledge and deliver access to it.

However, the Libraries and Archives Copyright Alliance is concerned that individual contracts can override exceptions to copyright.

Register to continue

Why register?

  • Registration is free and only takes a moment
  • Once registered, you can read 3 articles a month
  • Sign up for our newsletter
Please Login or Register to read this article.