The EU Budget

13 February 2013

Commenting on the EU funding settlement Dr Wendy Piatt, Director General of the Russell Group, said:

“We welcome the efforts of the UK Government to protect science and we are pleased EU leaders have recognised the importance of investing in research and innovation, even while making the first real terms cuts in overall EU spending. We look forward to seeing the further details of how the money will be allocated - it will be more important than ever to make the most effective use of scarce resources. While the final funding for Horizon 2020 may be less than we had hoped for it will be key to Europe’s, and the UK’s, long-term prosperity.

“Funding must be focused on the very best and most transformative research. The smart thing to do would be to protect investment in excellent science and research - especially the European Research Council - and research into the grand challenges facing us, including healthy ageing, clean energy, and food security: research which underpins sustainable economic growth.

“The UK and other Governments have taken the right approach at home by putting science and research at the heart of their growth strategies. For leading UK universities, European funding is a key part of our research income. If grants from Europe to universities and businesses might fall after this year, this makes UK investment decisions even more critical to our international competitiveness. We expect countries that want to win the race for the growth and jobs of the future, from Germany to China, will continue to pump billions into their own leading centres of research excellence and higher education in order to stay ahead.”

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Reducing blood transfusions to lower patient risk, reduce costs and save lives

More than half a million people in the UK receive a blood transfusion each year and demand is increasing. Our ageing population, and a stringent donor selection process, mean the supply of blood is limited. 40% fewer new donors came forward last year compared with a decade ago. Recognising these challenges, researchers at the University of Edinburgh have shown the benefits of reducing the use of blood transfusions in intensive care and surgery.

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