LONDON—Strategic research in Britain should be funded by a new route that is independent of the support given to academic science through the University Grants Committee and research councils and the customer-contractor relationship used by government departments for applied research.

This view is contained in a new report on civilian R&D from the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology, a body of ten peers with considerable experience in science and engineering. The report, published January 8, defines strategic research as that "undertaken with eventual practical applications in mind even though these cannot be clearly specified."

Strategic research with commercial objectives may differ markedly from strategic research with scientific, social or environmental objectives, they argue. So they advocate a new approach "to promote that strategic research which is of most significance to the United Kingdom's economic future." They believe some of the cash should come from the present...

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