Government announces new science and technology council

The government has set out plans to establish a new national science and technology council chaired by the prime minister.

The council will aim to establish strategy on how science and tech can tackle societal challenges.

The government said that the move would help “cement the UK’s position as a science superpower.”

Prime minister Boris Johnson has also asked chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance to head up a new Office for Science and Technology Strategy, based in the Cabinet Office, and take up the role of the new national technology adviser, in addition to his current roles.

The Office will support the ministerial council and the drive forward the strategy of Whitehall’s science and technology priorities from the centre.

The government said it will strengthen its insight into cutting-edge research and technologies and work across government to put science and technology at the centre of policy and public services.

The Office will also identify what is needed to secure and protect the capability in science and technology required in the UK to deliver the government’s ambitions.

“From discovery to delivery, our vaccination programme has proven what the UK can achieve at scale and at speed,” said prime minister Boris Johnson. “With the right direction, pace and backing, we can breathe life into many more scientific and technological breakthroughs that transform the lives of people across the UK and the world.”

Johnson added: “That’s why I’m establishing a new ministerial council and office at the centre of government, so we can realise the limitless possibilities that research and technology has to offer and cement the UK’s place as a global science superpower.”

Chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said that the new Office for Science and Technology Strategy will “put science and technology right at the heart of policy-making” and “strengthen the way we work across government to reinforce the position of the UK as a science superpower.”

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