Horizon: Make UK shows we got it right

It’s not that we blow our own trumpet. Or that we like to say “told you so” with a smug leer. But when someone much cleverer than us shows we did; and when that someone is called Make UK, we do feel entitled to give in to the urge to polish our credentials. A bit. So how come?

Yesterday we published a blog which suggested that the UK joined the European Horizon programme. Apart from a group of men who were mending the roof, and called us “TRAYTURS!”, reaction on the whole was favourable. With one reservation “it’s too sciencey, this blog! Of course scientists want to join something like Horizon. What about the practical people who actually do the work?” So we thought we’d ask some.

You can’t get more practical or economically useful that Make UK[1] It’s a sort of business association for manufacturers in this country. An example of one of those utterly professional but unsung organisations , entirely free of the Government which represents a truly healthy economy and society. Manufacturing has shrunk dreadfully in this country since 1979, but it still employs more than 3 million people and contributes to our prosperity out of all proportion to its size. So we thought we’d approach them and ask what they thought of our theory. They very kindly sent us a speech from one of their events, from which we gratefully extract the following.

It’s also vital that the UK retains its place in the EU’s Horizon Programme and hopefully last week’s agreement will ensure this. Horizon has always been one of those areas of the EU Budget where the UK get more out than it puts in. Of the nearly 7000 principal recipients of European Research Council grants under the Horizon 2020 programme around a fifth were to UK institutions. We cannot afford to let the UK’s participation slide as a result of quite frankly pointless and unnecessary points of principle about the minor role of the European Court of Justice. This is simply irrelevant to those of us in the real world

….. Currently, manufacturing accounts for around 10% of GDP but, if we can build it back up to 15%, it would add a remarkable £142bn to the UK economy, create many high skill high value jobs and contribute substantially to the levelling up and re-balancing we need to see.

Firstly, LSS is not just a blog retailing other peoples’ news stories. We have started to bring you original stuff ourselves, a trend which we hope to continue. And secondly-these people are not ivory tower scientists, but practical men and women for whom cash ultimately has to be the bottom line. We still say: there is hope for a good life for people in these islands. Provided that from now on they take the time to make the right decisions.


#uk #manufacturing #economy #EU Horizon

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