The UK R&D budget for 2015 and 2016 is to remain flat at £4.6 billion ($7.0 billion) a year, reports the BBC. At the same time, Chancellor George Osborne announced that the capital budget, which goes toward lab infrastructure, would be raised to £1.1 billion. "From synthetic biology to graphene — Britain is very good at it and we're going to keep it that way," Osborne says.
ScienceInsider notes that while the budget is remaining at the same level that it has been at since 2010, "the outcome for science could have been worse."
"In a difficult Spending Round, at a time of great economic challenge, we congratulate [Osborne] on maintaining investment in science and research," Ted Bianco, the acting director of the Wellcome Trust, said in a statement.
However, Sarah Main from the Campaign for Science and Engineering argues that such flat cash, which will not be inflation-adjusted, for science will allow other nations to get ahead of the UK, according to the BBC. "[Osborne's] commitments are welcome in the context of the scale of cuts applied across all government departments," she notes. "However, in the context of the scale of commitment to science and engineering for economic recovery by our global partners, the UK is now lagging further and further behind."