End of Director General of Science and Research role in BIS

Posted on November 16, 2010 by

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Research Fortnight is reporting that Adrian Smith’s role, Director General of Science and Research at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is being abolished. The research community works closely with Adrian Smith – ahead of the spending review it was Adrian Smith who consulted with science organisations including the Academy of Medical Sciences to inform BIS’s bid to treasury for science and research spend – so we’re going to be watching these changes closely.

What’s happening?

Details are limited at the moment but Research Fortnight is reporting that a letter has been sent to BIS staff proposing a reorganisation of the department in the new financial year, creating three policy groups:

  • Knowledge & Innovation
  • Market Frameworks
  • Business & Skills

Science and research will fall within Knowledge & Innovation.

The post heading up the Knowledge & Innovation group has not yet been filled. It has been advertised and interviews are taking place this week.

What next?

Among the science and research community there are concerns that whoever is  chosen to fill the post will understand science and work with the science community as Adrian Smith has done.

There was a House of Lords Science & Technology Committee evidence session this morning with Sir John Beddington, Government Chief Scientist, and David Delpy, Chief Executive of EPSRC where this announcement was discussed. Both expressed their concern that whoever fills the new role should have the confidence of the science community. The transcript of that evidence session will not be available for a little while but you can listen again here.

Posted in: Policy