Tim Peake: Investment in R&D allows UK to reap rewards

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Tim Peake
Investment in science, and research and development is key for the UK to reap the rewards of future technologies, astronaut Tim Peake has said.

He said the Government is recognising how important it is to invest in the sector, but there is always more that can be done.

Major Peake said the benefits are seen in education, industry and business.

He added: “Actually, in terms of space industry, we’ve gone from strength to strength and are hoping to continue to do so.

“So, it is becoming more of a focus, and also the other point on this is things such as climate and technology are also coming to the forefront more than ever before.

“I think that slowly the governments are realising what our future is – whether it’s around autonomous vehicles, whether it’s around quantum computing, artificial intelligence, potential future energy sources such as nuclear fusion – if we don’t invest in R&D then we’re not going to reap the rewards of what potential that has to offer us in the future.

“And I think slowly that the Government is realising that and starting to invest a more appropriate amount.”

British astronaut Tim Peake was speaking as he revealed his top science and education institutions in the UK to celebrate the National Lottery’s 25th birthday.

He told the PA news agency that lottery funding enabled children to visit science institutions free of charge, grow an interest in the subject and potentially be inspired to go on and work in R&D.

Major Peake said: “It allows these establishments to increase their attractions and to improve the number of exhibits that are there, and also keep the UK at the forefront of having these incredible establishments that are able to remain open to the public and remain free for people to go and visit.

“I think that you can’t under-estimate the impact of what this funding allows these types of projects to do, and how the local economies benefit from it, and also the people go visit them.”

National Lottery players have raised more than £596 million for 700 science-related projects over the last 25 years, with more than £310 million going to science museums across the UK.

Some of the projects across the UK that have received lottery funding in the past 25 years include institutions such as the Science Museum in London, The W5 Science & Discovery Centre in Belfast, and the Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre in Manchester.

The rest of the top 10 is made up by the Eden Project in Cornwall, Glasgow Science Centre, University Museum of Zoology in Cambridge, the Royal Navy Submarine Museum in Portsmouth, Oxford University Museum of Natural History, and National Museum Cardiff.

Chris Price
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