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Government Science Capability Review

Review addresses the role of science in government policy making

NPL welcomes Government Office for Science's recent Government Science Capability review “Realising our ambition through science” and its recommendations, and are supporting their implementation. 

The Government Chief Scientific Adviser carried our this review to assess the profile and use of science and engineering in government. It is a comprehensive assessment of the role of science within the government, cumulating in 15 recommendations designed to enhance the application of scientific solutions in policy making across Whitehall. 

The review encompasses several key messages. In particular, it stresses the importance of policy makers using the expertise and capabilities of the government funded public laboratories. It outlines the value of public science and engineering facilities, such as NPL, stating that public laboratories "present a significant resource of government". 

The review found it to be essential that government works in collaboration with the wider scientific community in order to achieve the ambition of 2.4% of GDP invested into research and development (R&D). Particularly, the report highlighted the challenge of encouraging industry investment into R&D and credited public facilities such as NPL as the catalysts for enabling this.

NPL works closely with businesses to support their innovation in initiatives such as Analysis for Innovators (A4I). The UK’s public laboratories are uniquely placed to bridge the gap between the public and private sectors and boost private investment in R&D by collaborating with business. By working with specialists, research experiments can become more effective, creating tangible results that improve R&D outcomes in the UK and in-turn attract greater private investment.

NPL is supporting the Government Office for Science with taking their recommendations forward and is encouraged by the ambition to better embed science in policy making across all of government. There is a vital role for science to play at every stage of the policy process, and as the UK’s National Metrology Institute, NPL is committed to representing the measurement community when supporting these implementations.

You can read the full statement on the review here. 

23 Jan 2020