Brown: science must provide new UK growth, not financial services

Prime minister Gordon Brown says he wants the UK to rely less on financial services and more on science and technology for generating GDP.

Prime minister Gordon Brown says he wants the UK to rely less on financial services and more on science and technology for generating GDP.

Gordon Brown gave the Romanes Lecture at Oxford University last Friday. During the Romanes Lecture, the prime minister said the government wanted to spend money on generating wealth through science and technology.

He said the government wanted to "move away from an economy centred so heavily on financial services - which involves finding ever more arcane ways to price complex derivatives - to one that is broader-based with a new focus on science and innovation".

Brown said the government's commitment to science is not new. He said: "Since 1997, investment in science has more than doubled in cash terms - an 88% real terms increase rising to almost £6bn a year by 2010/11.

"We will meet our ten-year commitment to maintain science spending with investment focusing on pure fundamental science as well as applied science. We will invest not just in specific projects but also crucially right across the science base that underpins our international reputation."

He said the government would continue to ringfence money for continuing science spending, even though other competing areas required investment too.

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