The Government’s new science minister chose RACE as the setting for his first major speech on UK research and development policy, during a visit to Culham Science Centre on 25 January.
Chris Skidmore – the new Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation – spoke for 20 minutes on the importance of science in delivering the Government’s industrial strategy. The minister held up the pursuit of commercial fusion as “an example of the vision the UK needs to pursue” to see through the Government’s commitment to spend 2.4 per cent of GDP on science and research.
Mr Skidmore also had the chance to see some of the projects ongoing at RACE; this included trying out the KUKA robotic arms with RACE Director Rob Buckingham.
Later on in the visit, he saw the UK’s new fusion device MAST Upgrade and the European JET experiment, before later visiting Reaction Engines, a Culham-based company that is developing a revolutionary form of aircraft engine.
Mr Skidmore said: “The work of UKAEA here at Culham will help make British fusion power a reality. World-class science, tackling a big global challenge, deeply embedded in the real world and in its community.”