Investment in science can pay dividends right now, as well as driving long term prosperity. That was the key message given by Jonathan Flint, Chief Executive of Oxford Instruments, speaking at an event in Parliament on 28 June.
He said, "My position as Chief Executive of a publicly listed company and as a council member of the Institute of Physics allows me to straddle the commercial and scientific worlds. It gives me a perspective on the difficult path between the spark of a new idea, and seeing the effects of that idea in society at large.
"The global challenges we face today cannot be addressed without a partnership between the commercial and the academic sectors. I see businesses forming the bridge between science and the consumer.
"Science is capable of coming up with the solutions to many of society's problems and companies like Oxford Instruments will turn that smart science into commercially successful products."
Speaking on behalf of the Institute of Physics at the Royal Society of Chemistry's Parliamentary Links Day, Jonathan identified examples where his company's advanced technology is contributing to future energy options, from fusion power to low energy lighting, and testing for hazardous materials in the environment. But his key message was that investment in science is delivering real economic benefits, today, through the manufacture of the high technology equipment involved.
He continued, "Supplying high performance equipment gives real revenues, real jobs, today. We should do more to educate people about the power of science and its importance to our world, for the future, and for today."
To see the full speech and more from Parliamentary Links Day, watch the webcast at http://www.rsc.org/ScienceAndTechnology/Parliament/Events/links-day-2011.asp