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12 July 04. Sir John Chisholm, Chief Executive Officer of QinetiQ, Europe’s largest independent science and technology organisation, welcomes the ambitious commitment announced by the Chancellor today to strengthen further the UK’s already world class science base and increase the pull-through from that base to the market place. The planned steady increase in Government funding for research and innovation, coupled with a sharpened commitment to maximise its commercial applications, is good news for the UK scientific community and for the economy.

A key element of the 10-year strategy is increased private sector investment in UK science and technology, and QinetiQ is committed to playing its full part. We plan to recruit 1,300 more scientists and technologists over the next five years alone, strengthening QinetiQ’s unique contribution to UK research and innovation and its commercial application.

A number of the Chancellor’s most important proposals echo QinetiQ’s evidence to the Treasury’s consultation on the 10-year strategy. In particular we welcome the commitment, underlined by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, to do more to bridge the gap between an innovation with high potential and a competitive commercial product. Only by getting the fruits of UK inventiveness into the market place can our science and technology punch its weight in creating wealth for the nation.

We strongly endorse the commitment to enhance the teaching of science, technology and engineering, and particularly to offer competitive salaries for the best science teachers. As the UK’s leading recruiter of science graduates, QinetiQ depends on a continuing throughput of high-quality students in sufficient numbers to maintain and enhance the quality of its research and innovation.

As an employer with a presence in most of the English regions, Scotland and Wales, QinetiQ also welcomes the Chancellor’s proposals for enhanced scientific provision and opportunities in the regions.

Finally, we welcome the pulling-together in the strategy of the forward science and innovation plans of the principal Government departments with R&D programmes. QinetiQ is already working with the Office of Science and Technology, the Department of Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Defence and other departments to explore the commercial possibilities of more joined-up Government-sponsored research.

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