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Policy and Public Affairs Update: 22nd - 26th May

BSI weekly Policy and Public Affairs update

May 22nd – May 26th   


New report details extent and nature of EU funding for UK science

A new report commissioned by the four national Academies – the Academy of Medical Sciences, the British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering, and the Royal Society – describes in greater detail the extent and nature of EU funding in UK research activities, revealing where it goes and what it supports.

In the period 2014/15, the report shows that clinical medicine received the most funding (£120m) in absolute terms, followed by biosciences (£91m) and physics (£51m).

In terms of Higher Education Institutes, the greatest recipients were the University of Oxford (£60.3m), followed by the University of Cambridge (£59.5m) and UCL (£45.7m).

The report also examined grants for industry and found that 17% of the R&D expenditure of UK SMEs came from the EU under the last Framework Programme which ran from 2007 to 2013.

Under the current Framework Programme, Horizon 2020, 85% of funding is leveraged in England. Scotland however receives the most per head (€55 vs UK average of €44). For European Structural and Investment Funds, which are primarily directed to SMEs, Wales and Northern Ireland receive the most funding per person at €125 and €60 respectively. This compares to €23 for the UK as a whole.

The report also highlights the capacity of EU funding to leverage investment from other sources, calculating that for every €1 spent by the EU an additional €0.74 is raised from other sources. This means that the €9.6bn received overall by the UK under Framework Programme 7 helped generate a total R&D expenditure of €16.6bn.


Audit of Emergency Departments reveals challenges in asthma care

Many Emergency Departments are finding it difficult to adhere to service standards in the treatment of moderate and acute severe asthma.

This is the conclusion of an audit of 14,043 children and adults and 201 Emergency Departments in the UK by the Royal College of Emergency Medicine. The audit assesses clinical standards, such as how quickly drugs are administered in A&E or waiting times for follow up care after discharge.

This is the first audit of its type and is designed to improve care and recognise excellence. The Royal College of Emergency Medicine says that where A&Es fail to meet the standards, this is a reflection of higher case load and other pressures in acute care.


AstraZeneva and the Francis Crick Institute sign research agreement

The Francis Crick Institute has signed a five year deal with AstraZeneca that will see researchers collaborate on early-stage research.

The agreement will see a research fund established to support Crick scientists in pre-competitive research activities while AstraZeneca will provide access to their compounds across a range of areas. Crick projects that receive funding through the programme could also see scientists exchanged between the two bodies.


Conservative lead narrowed to 5 points in new poll

With 13 days to go until the General Election a new poll out today puts Labour just 5 points behind the Conservatives.

The figures show voting intention of 43% for the Conservatives and 38% for Labour. The Liberal Democrats meanwhile are on 10%, while UKIP are on 4%.

The polling, carried out by YouGov, is the first to take place after the events in Manchester and continues a declining trend in Conservative support that began following the launch of their manifesto.

A second poll from Kantar, with fieldwork conducted earlier (between last Thursday and Sunday), has topline figures of 42% Conservative, 34% Labour, 9% Lib Dem and 4% UKIP. The Conservatives however retain a healthy advantage in the “poll of polls” – calculated as a seven-point moving average – with 46% to Labour’s 32%.