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Sir Paul Nurse: UK science is 'underperforming'

The government needs to do more to support science and innovation and not to take the UK's position as a world leader in science for granted, four major science and engineering institutions say.

The Royal Society, the British Academy, the Academy of Medical Sciences and Royal Academy of Engineering released a joint statement.

Sir Paul Nurse, president of the Royal Society, told the Today programme's Justin Webb, that "you need to put science and innovation at the head of your industrial policy".

He went on to call for "long term investment in research innovation and skills" and explained that science provided the "seed-corn to drive the economy".

The government should "put its money where its mouth is", he added and said "our competitors are spending more".

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "We have to think about outcomes rather than just the input of money."

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Monday 22 April 2013.