On Monday night, Richard spoke in the debate on the remaining stages through the House of Commons of the Advanced Research and Invention Agency (ARIA) Bill.
The Bill is sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and makes provisions for the establishment of ARIA - a new research funding agency specifically aimed at providing long-term support for “high-risk, high-pay off” “blue-skies research”. The proposed new agency is broadly modelled on the US Advanced Research Projects Agency, a research and development agency of the United States Department of Defense (now known as DARPA). The Bill is sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). As well as establishing the Agency, the Bill sets out ARIA’s functions. These are focused on both conducting ambitious scientific research with a tolerance to failure and on developing, exploiting and sharing scientific knowledge, such as translating basic scientific research into more commercial technologies. The Bill also enables the Secretary of State to make grants to ARIA and provide it with funding.
Richard Fuller, Member of the BEIS Select Committee and MP for North East Bedfordshire said:
In my contribution to the debate, my key point was that when it comes to innovation and scientific discovery, we simply don't know what we don't know.
As such, it would be a mistake for politicians to apply shackles and impose a core focus on ARIA, for example the environment or climate change goals, as to do so would impede the freedom of exploration that is essential to the growth of knowledge and scientific development.
Richard's full contribution can be watched here. The Bill has now passed to the House of Lords.