The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) and the Royal Society of Chemistry have echoed the main messages conveyed in a new report from the Chemistry Growth Strategy Group.
Commenting on Strategy for Delivering Chemistry-Fuelled Growth of the UK Economy, Dr Robert Parker, chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry said: “The chemistry-based industries and chemistry research in companies and on campuses comprise a vital facet of Britain’s efforts to regain its economic momentum and to challenge world competitors.
Dr Parker continued, “Throughout this year, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Institution of Chemical Engineers, Society of Chemical Industry, Chemical Industries Association and Chemistry Innovation Knowledge Transfer Network have been campaigning together to underline the tremendous contribution that the chemical sciences make to the economy.”
Dr David Brown, IChemE’s chief executive, said: “The Strategy for Growth report highlights the need for competitive energy sources, and in particular mentions shale gas, a developing source of fuel; if the UK adopts fracking to access shale gas, chemical scientists and engineers will need to play a central role in its production and in monitoring any environmental impact.”
Dr Parker added: “To stay ahead in the global economic race we have to have a committed, dynamic level of government support for the chemical sciences, paralleled by a recognition of what chemistry can bring to our country through energy, food, water, fuel, health, and in the fight against climate change.”
"The report also puts the spotlight on the need for an innovative environment, and to ensure that we achieve that we also need to ensure a continuing supply of highly-skilled chemical scientists, including those with vocational, graduate and postgraduate qualifications.
“In the past 10 years investment in research and development by the government has slithered towards the base of the international league table; amongst G8 competitors, only one country, Italy, invests less as a proportion of GDP.”