Submission from the Department of Trade
1. Alan Johnson and Brian Bender commissioned
a review in autumn 2005 to examine the organisational and working
methods of the DTI's activities on science, innovation and business
relations and support. The aims of this review were to help the
Department achieve effective integration and ensure that its strategic
focus appropriately addresses the enterprise, innovation and knowledge
economy agenda, to meet the challenge of globalisation.
2. Following the review, Alan Johnson and
Brian Bender have announced that the Department will create a
new Office of Science and Innovation by merging its Innovation
Group into the Office of Science and Technology. The new Science
and Innovation Group within the Office of Science and Innovation
will have the twin purpose of: investing to develop further the
excellence of the UK's research base; and promoting technological
and other business innovation.
3. Working together, the Office of Science
and Technology (OST) and Innovation Group have had success so
far in delivering the 10-year Science and Innovation Investment
Framework and putting innovation at the heart of the Government's
agenda. The creation of the new Office of Science and Innovation
will build on all these achievements and on the strong brand of
the OST. As stated in the consultation document on Science and
Innovation published with the Budget on 22 March, the Office of
Science and Innovation provides an opportunity to consider how
policies addressing the science "push" and innovation
"pull" can be brought together more effectively. It
will also allow more coherent communication of the Department's
Changes in lines of responsibility
4. Sir David King, the Government's Chief
Scientific Advisor, will be head of the Office of Science and
Innovation. Sir Keith O'Nions, as the Director-General of the
Science and Innovation Group, will be responsible for the work
of the Research Councils and for the areas currently covered by
Innovation Group. Sir Keith O'Nions will take on the role of DTI's
Chief Scientific Adviser formerly held by the DG for Innovation.
5. The Department is recruiting by open
competition a new Director of Innovation who will build on the
excellent work done by the Innovation Group and who will have
strong business and technical credentials. He/she will report
to the DG Science and Innovation.
6. The new Office of Science and Innovation
will come into effect on 3 April.
7. We would like to record and recognise
the substantial achievements of the Innovation Group, under the
leadership of David Hughes, over the past four years. These achievements
(i) establishing the Technology Strategy
and Technology Strategy Board, whereby we are now getting record
participation and awareness of the technology programme and huge
support across sectors in the business community;
(ii) achieving international recognition
for the work of the Innovation Group in developing UK innovation
(iii) highlighting the specific needs of
the service sector and the importance of design in innovation
(iv) raising the importance of public procurement
in stimulating innovation and reinvigorating the SBRI scheme,
working with the construction industry and other Government Departments
such as the Department of Health; and
(v) significant influence on DfES thinking
on skills and the emphasis on demand side/employer led skills
development in the workplace; and
(vi) as part of the Innovation Group, the
Patent Office is one of the most open and efficient in the world
and proactively worked on promoting IPR for SMEs and schools.
The development of the model contracts for IPR collaboration is
ground breaking and widely acclaimed in business and academe.
Implications for Budgets and Staff Numbers
8. In implementing these changes, we will
ensure that decisions on resource allocation to the Research Councils
continue to be based on excellence in research. We will also safeguard
and maintain the ring-fencing of the Science Budget, including
the funding for the Research Councils.
9. The above changes will reduce by one
the number of Directors-General in this part of the Department.
More broadly, they are driven by the desire to organise DTI more
effectively, rather than seek savings. In implementing the changes,
however, we will review whether any efficiencies are possible
as a result of this restructuring.