Select Committee on Science and Technology Fifth Report


The following Call for Evidence was issued on 16 January 2003, inviting written submissions by 24 February.

1.  The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee has appointed Sub-Committee II, chaired by Lord Patel, to conduct an Inquiry into Science and the Regional Development Agencies (RDAs).

2.  The nine RDAs in England spend and mobilise significant sums on science-related matters. The Sub-Committee is interested in the diversity of approaches that have developed and, in the interests of spreading best practice, wishes to identify those that have been most successful. In doing so, the Sub-Committee intends also to make comparisons with the more established practice in the Devolved Administrations and in other countries.

3.  Against that background, the Sub-Committee would welcome comments on the following questions (not all of which will be relevant for some respondents).

  a.  How and to what extent do RDAs develop and exploit science, engineering and technology (SET) to stimulate employment, employment opportunities, regeneration, wealth creation and improved skill levels?

  b.  How do advances in SET and national SET policies and initiatives influence and inform RDAs' strategies?

  c.  Do RDAs take full advantage of all available local, regional and national SET facilities, expertise and funds (including EU funds) in implementing their policies?

  d.  How do RDAs reach decisions on financial support for SET? How should success be judged?

  e.  What lessons may be learned from RDAs' approach to SET, and from the longer experience of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?

4.  The Sub-Committee would also welcome wider comment on these matters.

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