Martin Earwicker FREng, Vice President and chairman of the Academy’s External Affairs Committee addressed delegates at  the Parliamentary Links Day on Monday.

Speaking to a packed audience on the theme of Science and the New Parliament Professor Earwicker said, “improving competitiveness is not about picking winners – whether technologies, companies or products. But it must be about supporting strategic parts of the value chain in all sectors of the industrial system where the UK can enjoy a competitive advantage and ensuring that there are enough people with the skills, not just engineering skills , that business needs.”

Commenting on the issue of research funding he said “We need a frank debate on what other kind of research we can afford.  The creation of wealth out of research can only happen if ideas make a successful transition from lab through development and ultimately to market.  Many of these ideas will originate from outside the UK and we should be actively engaged in seeking them out, just as many ideas originating in the UK have found their successful exploitation through overseas companies.  As important as this exploitation of new science is, it is also the continuing use of applied engineering research that continually improves products and services for companies large as well as small, making UK industry more competitive.”

Parliamentary Links Day is the largest scientific event held annually in the Houses of Parliament. This year it was co-hosted by Dr Julian Huppert MP, Mark Lancaster TD MP and Malcolm Wicks MP. David Willetts MP the Minister of State for Universities and Science also spoke at the event. 

Notes for editors

  1. Parliamentary Links Day brings together all the UK's major scientific societies and organisations - including the Royal Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Physics, the Society of Biology, the Campaign for Science and Engineering, the Geological Society, the Royal Astronomical Society, the Institution of Chemical Engineers, the Royal Society of Chemistry and many more.
  2. Founded in 1976, The Royal Academy of Engineering promotes the engineering and technological welfare of the country. Our fellowship – comprising the UK’s most eminent engineers – provides the leadership and expertise for our activities, which focus on the relationships between engineering, technology, and the quality of life. As a national academy, we provide independent and impartial advice to Government; work to secure the next generation of engineers; and provide a voice for Britain’s engineering community.

For more information please contact

Iffat Memon at The Royal Academy of Engineering
Tel. 020 7766 0636