Science and the EU

council_housing.jpgThis week is British Science week.  Fittingly, just last week I met with two amazing Sheffield scientists and engineers, producing ground-breaking research at the SET for Britain parliamentary showcase. Given the current debate on the EU, I thought I would use this opportunity to highlight the great need of our scientific industries and universities to stay in the EU and also what it means for Sheffield. 
EU research grants award a massive 17% of the total science research grants going to our higher education institutes. The EU also promotes collaboration across Europe ensuring the EU is a key player in science, producing over a third of the world’s scientific output.  
The EU has helped South Yorkshire pioneer collaboration, through co-localisation of Universities, Industry and Research in hubs like the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, which had huge amounts of EU funding to get it off the ground. This has helped to create hundreds of high skilled jobs and apprenticeships in our area.
This is just one reason to stay in the EU, leaving will only slow research output and opportunities for our young people. Surely whether in aerospace, digital, medical breakthroughs or eco energy, we want to be part of the discoveries and manufacturing that are propelling worldwide knowledge and high tech industry forward.
The UK has a huge amount to offer and making it harder for collaboration and funding will have a real impact on our skills, we will see more and more researchers leaving the UK rather than the strong Europe wide collaborations and strengthening our research skills. We want to seize the opportunity advanced manufacturing and scientific research offers so we can anchor high skilled jobs to our region. It is for this reason we are better in than out of Europe in terms of Science and Technology.