Closer links between Norwich and Cambridge science clusters and the importance of better transport infrastructure were on the Chancellor’s agenda during a visit to the region.

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During a trip to Cambridge George Osborne also made a rallying call for scientists to tell him how to spend a multi-billion pound budget for the sector over the next decade. Norfolk MP George Freeman, who has been tasked with putting together a proposal for how the growth in Cambridge could be better spread across the Eastern region by the man in charge of the country’s finances, said the Chancellor had acknowledged a closer links with Norwich and the world-class Norwich Research Park were essential to unleashing the full potential of the Eastern region economy during a roundtable discussion.

Mr Freeman said Sir Paul Nurse, Britain’s senior scientist, Nobel Prize winner and President of the Royal Society, had pressed the importance of linking the science in Norwich with Cambridge to the man in charge of government spending.

Mr Osborne said that more needed to be done to convert “great British science into great British business”. He fired the starting gun on a consultation with the science community – both researchers and businesses - which he said would determine how the cash should be best invested. Mario Caccamo, Director of The Genome Analysis Centre (TGAC), said: “The UK is a leader in life science research and innovative technologies. TGAC is at the forefront of this work, using ground-breaking DNA sequencing technologies to generate big data sets and developing cutting edge bioinformatics techniques to advance, in particular, the growth and development of agriculture and crops. “We are excited by the government’s commitment to back British research and the opportunities this will bring for Norwich and the wider science community.” Do you think the government should be supporting science investment? Write to: The Letters Editor, EDP, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or EDPLetters@archant.co.uk

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