The UK parliament’s House of Lords Science and Technology held an inquiry in 2013 on Scientific Infrastructure. Their report was positive, but argued that the UK lacked a long-term strategy and investment plan for scientific infrastructure; and failed to provide adequately for operational costs at facilities.
The report also recommended a more active role for the UK in developing EU infrastructures. There were concerns that the benefits of Public Sector Research Establishments (PSREs) in providing national capabilities and acting as custodians of data, expertise and facilities, was being eroded by an over-emphasis on profit margins and uncertainty over long term funding.
The UK government has now responded and has announced a consultation on long term science and research capital and an advisory group that will inform a roadmap on long term science capital – this is seen as a central element of a Science and Innovation Strategy to be published in Autumn 2014. The UK Research Councils also provided a short response.