Next generation environmental science
10 October 2007
The Natural Environment Research Council's Chief Executive, Professor Alan Thorpe, has welcomed yesterday's announcement of an increase to the overall science budget.
He said, "The government's continued commitment to the research base is providing a firm foundation for investments over the coming years. I am pleased that environmental science remains high on the agenda in this Comprehensive Spending Review."
The allocation to NERC of £1·2 billion over the next three years represents an average increase of 5·4% each year, in line with the government's ten-year science and innovation framework. NERC is about to launch its new strategy, Next Generation Science for Planet Earth 2007-2012, in November and will direct research funds towards its seven priority themes and their associated scientific challenges. Some of the increase in the allocation will enable NERC to fund research grants with 80% of full economic costs and to invest in large infrastructure such as research vessels.
Professor Thorpe added, "The most critical issue of the 21st Century is the sustainability of life on Earth, and the challenges we face are substantial. NERC will need to make some important, and indeed tough, choices about the priorities to be funded. Through partnership we aim to develop integrated research communities, bringing scientists and other stakeholders together, to deliver better science and greater economic impact for the UK."
NERC will drive the search for sustainable solutions to environmental challenges by playing a leading role in a new interdisciplinary programme based on an unprecedented collaboration of research and policy partners. The Living With Environmental Change programme comprises six Research Councils and nine government departments and agencies who are joining forces to help people mitigate or avoid the worst impacts as our environment changes.
NERC Press Office
Natural Environment Research Council
Polaris House, North Star Avenue
Swindon, SN2 1EU
Tel: 01793 411561
Mob: 07917 557215
1. The government has announced a 5·2% increase in the overall science budget.
2. NERC's full strategy will be launched on 15 November 2007.
3. More information on the Living With Environmental Change programme is available on this website.
4. The Natural Environment Research Council funds world-class science, in universities and its own research centres, that increases knowledge and understanding of the natural world. It is tackling major environmental issues such as climate change, biodiversity and natural hazards. NERC receives around £400m a year from the government's science budget and provides independent research and training in the environmental sciences.
Press release: 40/07
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