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Regional research spending promised

Jo Johnson pledges to ensure that research funding is widely spread, writes Alison Goddard.

The government will work to ensure that research funding is not "hyper-concentrated" in London and the south east of England, the universities and science minister has said. Jo Johnson told MPs yesterday that science and research underpin the government’s regional growth strategy and that "the extra gear our economy needs is to be found in the research and development capabilities in our universities and in our regions, as well as the golden triangle [of Oxford, Cambridge and London]." We report his contribution to a Parliamentary debate, which coincided with the publication of figures which show that spending on research by the funding and research councils per head of the population is concentrated on London, the south east of England and Scotland, whereas Innovate UK spends more in the north east and south west of England.

However Jo Johnson’s former employer, the Financial Times, reports that his brother Boris will today call for a £10 billion fund to be established to promote investment in the life sciences in London. It says that the mayor is promoting the capital as a life sciences centre by creating MedCity "to increase collaboration between Imperial College London, King’s College London and University College London and to promote the broader ‘golden triangle’ between London, Oxford and Cambridge to investors."

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