Today the Conservatives published their election manifesto – An invitation to join the Government of Britain.
In the Forward the Conservatives said: “This economic vision reflects our belief in enterprise and aspiration. It is a vision of a truly modern economy: one that is greener and more local. An economy where Britain leads in science, technology and innovation.”
The following are extracts from the manifesto relevant to research, innovation, education and skills.
Making Britain the leading hi-tech exporter in Europe (page 11)
- Encouraging the establishment of joint university-business research and development institute.
- Initiating a multi-year Science and research budget to provide a stable investment climate for Research Councils.
- We will create the conditions for higher exports, business investment and saving as a share of GDP.
- Creating a better focus on Science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects in schools; and establishing a new prize for engineering.
- Research and development tax credits will be improved and refocused on hi-tech companies, small businesses and new start-ups.
Boost small business (page 16)
- Aim to deliver 25 per cent of government research and procurement contracts through SME s by cutting the administrative costs of bidding.
Improve Skills and Strengthen Higher Education (page 17)
- Delay the implementation of the Research Excellence Framework so that it can be reviewed – because of doubts about whether there is a robust and acceptable way of measuring the impact of all research.
Better teachers and tougher discipline (Page 51-2)
- To raise the status of teaching , we will make repayments for top Maths and Science graduates for as long as they remain teachers, by redirecting some of the current teacher training budget.
A rigorous curriculum and exam system (page 52)
- We will reform the National Curriculum so that it is more challenging and based on evidence about what knowledge can be mastered by children at different ages. We will ensure that the primary curriculum is organised around subjects like Maths, Science and History.
- Develop proper vocational and technical education that engages young people and meets the needs of modern business. Will establish Technical Academies across England, starting in at least twelve cities.
Protect Our Freedoms (p 79)
- We will review and reform libel laws to protect freedom of speech, reduce costs and discourage libel tourism.
Conserve wildlife (page 95)
- We will work to reduce the use of animals in scientific research.