Inspirational physics for a modern economy

The UK faces numerous policy challenges over the next five years, from threats to national security to improving economic productivity to securing our energy supply. Science and technology have an essential part to play in meeting these challenges.


Introduction

The examples presented in this booklet, drawn from the impact case studies submitted to Higher Education Funding Council for England's (HEFCE’s) Research Excellence Framework exercise, demonstrate the importance of science and technology.

There is strong evidence that investment in science drives economic growth, but the outputs of research are so much more than that. The technologies developed for particle accelerators have already found their way into less invasive, targeted cancer treatments in hospitals, improving diagnoses and speeding recovery.

Curiosity-driven research into optical fibres has revolutionised telecommunications and the global finance industry and also provided new opportunities for machine tooling and industrial supply chains in the UK.

The current strength of UK research is built upon sustained and secure investment over previous decades. It is the returns of that past investment that we are seeing today, and the impacts and benefits from this research are the best arguments for continuing to invest in science both today and into the future.