The government has published their broad ambitions for science and innovation research post-Brexit, in its policy paper “Collaboration on science and innovation – a future partnership paper”, https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/collaboration-on-science-and-innovation-a-future-partnership-paper.
While the paper describes some of the existing partnerships and mechanisms for collaboration, it is lacking in detail on the proposed relationship for EU collaboration in the future. Also food science research is not explicitly mentioned in the paper; nor was food a key challenge area outlined by the government for the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/industrial-strategy-challenge-fund-joint-research-and-innovation.
IFST supports the general ambitions outlined in the partnership paper, in particular the stated intent:
- To “seek an ambitious science and innovation agreement with the EU that will support and promote science and innovation across Europe both now and in the future”, and;
- To “continue to welcome the brightest and best” to work in UK science, despite the current freedom of movement arrangement ceasing to apply
IFST encourages the government to provide clarity on how it intends to achieve these ambitions, beyond the promise to honour current commitments to the Horizon 2020 programme, and in particular to:
- Recognise the importance of food science research to the UK economy
- Outline specific measures that it wants to include in the agreement that will support food science research, international collaboration and access to research skills for our universities and industries