Science, Technology and Research as UK Competitive Advantage


The great jubilation following news of the Covid-19 vaccine trials is a timely reminder that research can change lives. Our heroes are in lab coats fuelled by government funding, private infrastructure and the hopes of billions. This week, we’re posing the question: how can government-funded research help build competitive advantage? The US-funded DARPA and ARPA programmes have become legendary for boosting moonshot research. What could we in the UK emulate from it and how can universities and research institutes help?

In three short, sharp and insightful sessions we’ll be digging around the roots of conversations about building long-term research and competitive advantage in the UK. What would it take to build a 20 year research strategy? How do we best leverage the institutions we have and what new ones do we need to create (if any)? And, how can Government nurture environments for global breakthroughs such as the Covid 19 vaccine?

MC: Joy Lo Dico
Commentator: Ed Vaizey


Is it time to rethink universities?

For centuries the UK has punched above its weight in science and invention. In a more competitive world, as our eminent guest Lord Martin Rees…

Building a 50 year research strategy

The UK’s research scene is a patchwork of organisations and bodies. Do we really need another? Here we explore what is needed to build, and…

Vaccines: Creating Environments for Global Breakthroughs

We’re all conscious of the monumental effort and collaboration that has gone into discovering a Covid vaccine, but what precisely are the constituent parts? Here…

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Joy Lo Dico

Columnist The Financial Times

Lord Ed Vaizey

Former Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries

Martin Rees

Cosmologist & Astrophysicist

Professor Robbert Dikjgraaf

Director, Institute for Advanced Study Princeton University