The table below shows the GERD per capita index
for the UK regions (excluding figures for research carried out
in the private, not-for-profit sector which is excluded from the
published information). It can be seen that there are three English
regions whose performance is worse than that of the North West,
the recipient of £25 million funding in response to the Synchrotron
announcement. The North West has a population of some 7 million,
so if the £50 million of the RIF were concentrated on the
delivery of the RISs in the three worse-performing English regions,
this would give £50 million over 13 million population, a
similar investment level to NWSRT (separate arrangements from
the RIF apply in each of the territorials so they are excluded
from the calculations).
THE UK REGIONS RANKED BY GERD PER CAPITA
INDEX (UK=100), 1997
| ||GERD (£m)
||Population (000s)||GERD index
|South East (GOR)||3,415
|Yorkshire & the Humber||540
Source: economic trends, regional trends, author's
1 Department of Trade and Industry (2000) The Science
White Paper, London: DTI; Department of Trade and Industry
& Office of Science and Technology (2000) Science Budget
2001-02 to 2003-04, London: HMSO.
2 cf "The innovation process is a cycle (which)
must be fed by ideas and basic knowledge . . . major innovations
flow from breakthroughs made by curiosity-driven research"
3 cf Charles, D R & Benneworth, P S "Creating
new products and processes" Competitiveness Project Thematic
Report, Newcastle-upon-Tyne: CURDS; Benneworth, P S (2001)
"Innovation in a peripheral industrial region" Unpublished
PhD thesis, Newcastle-upon-Tyne: University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
4 This is recognised in the so-called Dual Systems adopted
in UK universities in which all establishments receive funds dependent
on the numbers of their staff; these funds support teaching and
teaching staff are expected to be research active, although these
funds are supplemented by the second "leg" of funding,
competitive and project-specific research funds, such as those
administered by the research councils.
5 Research capacity is important because of the progressive
and indeterminate nature of scientific progress. Many of the benefits
that arise from innovation are tangential to the actual research
activities, but research activity conditions individuals and teams
with new techniques for solving problems; although conceived in
laboratory conditions, their application by scientists and engineers
to commercial and industrial problems is a vital source of innovation.
6 This reluctance to support regional development priorities
was to prove a decisive factor in the location of the new Diamond
synchrotron at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Didcot.
7 cf Boekholt, P & Thuriaux, B (1999) "Public
policies to facilitate clusters: background, rationale and policy
practices in international perspective" in OECD (eds)
Boosting innovation: the cluster approach, Paris: OECD;
Charles, D R & Benneworth, P S (2000) Clustering and economic
complexityregional clusters of the ICT sector in the UK'
paper presented to Do clusters matter in innovation policy?
OECD Cluster Group Workshop, Utrecht, Netherlands, 8-9 May 2000.
8 This is exemplified by the science enterprise challenge
centres, where the initial competition resulted in centres for
all regions with the exception of Northern Ireland and the North
East, which was overturned when these centres were provided through
funds released by the creation of the Cambridge-Massachusetts
Institute. This demonstrated once more the commitment of the DTI
to funding existing excellence over diffusing diversity across
the UK regions. The DTI provided funds to one centre (at Cambridge
University) at a level well beyond the total funds provided to
the remainder of the UK network.
9 cf Heim, C E (1988) "Government Research Establishments,
state capacity and distribution of industrial policy in Britain"
Regional Studies 22 (5) pp 375-386.