Science in Wales wins less cash

May 2, 2003

Science in Wales is suffering because it receives less government investment than other parts of the UK, a report by Save British Science warns this week, writes Anna Fazackerley.

The report says Wales is falling significantly behind other regions in securing research council funding. The region receives £15 per head annual investment from the research councils, compared with £41 per head in Scotland and £33 per head in England.

Peter Cotgreave, the director of SBS, called for a substantial injection of cash from the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales.

He stressed Welsh universities would also need to be more focused about how they made their applications.

The organisation was concerned that there was only one research council laboratory in Wales - the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council's Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research.

Dr Cotgreave added that there was a damaging consensus that Wales was never chosen for any major research facilities.

Plaid Cymru has taken up these concerns. In a policy statement released in advance of the assembly elections, it says: "The decision to locate the Diamond synchrotron-radiation project near Abingdon rather than in Wales or Merseyside is a clear example of the failure of the UK government to modify the long-standing policy of locating centres of scientific research in the overheated south of England."

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