Science and Technology Framework

James Gray Excerpts
Tuesday 7th March 2023

(1 year, 3 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Michelle Donelan Portrait Michelle Donelan
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What we really want to do is provide the research community with complete clarity and the certainty that they have not been able to have for the last two years while we have waited around trying to associate with Horizon. As I said at the outset, we want that process to be relatively swift. As for the question of visas, of course we want to attract the brightest and the best. Part of yesterday’s announcement was about how we are going not just to wait for people to want to come here, but to be proactive and to utilise our global talent network to go out and find them and to persuade them of the value of locating and working in the UK.

James Gray Portrait James Gray (North Wiltshire) (Con)
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I warmly welcome my right hon. Friend and constituency neighbour to her position. Does she agree that one area of outstanding science in the United Kingdom is in the Arctic and the Antarctic? Our polar scientific research is superb, thanks to the National Environment Research Council, the British Antarctic Survey and the 78 universities with first-class polar research departments. I have not had a chance to read her framework paper, but what more can the Government do within the framework to encourage polar research, which is so superb in this country but needs more co-ordination and, of course, always needs more encouragement from the Government?

Michelle Donelan Portrait Michelle Donelan
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I commend my hon. Friend for all the great work that he does and has done consistently over the years. I know that he held a meeting here to dive deep into this issue again and to raise its profile. Of course the work is important geopolitically, but it is also important to addressing net zero. We work closely with partners. Our approach is global, not just internal, which is key to the framework.