TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION: Tories plan UK science funding agency modelled on US Darpa

Press/Media: Expert comment

Release date: 14/10/2019

Description

Kieron Flanagan, senior lecturer in science and technology policy at the University of Manchester, said that the proposals reflected suggestions that Mr Cummings felt that the creation of UK Research and Innovation – an umbrella body for the country’s research councils – “was a failure, at least in terms of playing the role of supporting emerging technologies”.

But, while Darpa had played an important role in shaping the US IT industry in the 1960s and 1970s, there was “no reason to suppose what worked for one specific industry at a specific moment in history is transferrable to emerging technologies in general”, Dr Flanagan said.

“The creation of a new agency could help bring back some of the diversity lost in the creation of UKRI,” Dr Flanagan said. “[But] this notional benefit has to be set against the opportunity costs and risks of policymakers and the research and innovation communities getting bogged down in the creation of new processes and institutions.”

Media contributions

TitleTories plan UK science funding agency modelled on US Darpa
Media name/outletTimes Higher Education
Media typeWeb
CountryUnited Kingdom
Date14/10/19
DescriptionKieron Flanagan, senior lecturer in science and technology policy at the University of Manchester, said that the proposals reflected suggestions that Mr Cummings felt that the creation of UK Research and Innovation – an umbrella body for the country’s research councils – “was a failure, at least in terms of playing the role of supporting emerging technologies”.

But, while Darpa had played an important role in shaping the US IT industry in the 1960s and 1970s, there was “no reason to suppose what worked for one specific industry at a specific moment in history is transferrable to emerging technologies in general”, Dr Flanagan said.

“The creation of a new agency could help bring back some of the diversity lost in the creation of UKRI,” Dr Flanagan said. “[But] this notional benefit has to be set against the opportunity costs and risks of policymakers and the research and innovation communities getting bogged down in the creation of new processes and institutions.”
URLhttps://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/tories-plan-uk-science-funding-agency-modelled-us-darpa?utm_source=THE+Website+Users&utm_campaign=f7997a7d27-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_10_14_02_02&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_daa7e51487-f7997a7d27-60965941
PersonsKieron Flanagan