Higher Education and Research Bill - Report (4th Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:15 pm on 15th March 2017.

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Photo of Baroness Brown of Cambridge Baroness Brown of Cambridge Crossbench 6:15 pm, 15th March 2017

My Lords, I give my strong support to the government amendments in this group that allow for larger research councils, including an executive, and make it clear that our research can aim just to advance knowledge. I am very much an applied scientist, but I think it is hugely important that people are able do research that is just about moving forward the frontiers of their subject, even if we may not know for many years whether it has any purpose or practical application. I am delighted to see that such a provision has been included. I thank the Minister for not only listening to the comments of noble Lords and the research and innovation community, but responding to them.

I also add my support to Amendments 164A and 166A in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Mendelsohn, which would add a senior independent member to each council. I encourage the Minister to adopt that approach among the many other excellent improvements that he has already made.