The Forum regularly issues policy statements and consultation responses, as a means of affecting change and ensuring the sector speaks up with a coherent voice.
UK Research and Innovation
UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) was launched in April 2018 to bring together the seven research councils, as well as Innovate UK and the newly created Research England. UKRI's cross-disciplinary remit, emphasis on interdisciplinary research and innovation, and approach to investment based on delivering economic, social and cultural impact are well-suited to heritage science. This briefing note aims to highlight opportunities for the sector arising from this change in the research landscape.
Civil Society Strategy: Building a Future that Works for Everyone
In its new Civil Society Strategy, published August 2018, the Government sets out how it will work with and for civil society in the long-term to create a country that works for everyone. The Strategy presents a number of opportunities for heritage science, highlighted in this briefing note.
Brexit White Paper: The future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union
In July 2018, the Government published the White Paper outlining its position for a post-Brexit relationship with the European Union, to underpin negotiations with the EU ahead of the 29 March 2019 exit. This briefing note highlights points of specific interest to heritage science.
Heritage Lottery Fund Strategic Framework 2019-2024
NHSF has submitted a response to the March 2018 Heritage Lottery Fund consultation on funding priorities for its next Strategic Framework, 2019-2024. The response focused on the areas of the consultation that aligned to recent NHSF work, touching on: The well-being benefits of heritage participation Place-making Digital and innovation The Forum contributed ideas and insight gained from recent events and current work to develop a new National Heritage Science Strategy.
Industrial Strategy: Building a Britain fit for the Future
In November 2017, the Government published its Industrial Strategy: building a Britain fit for the future. The Strategy sets out five themes as 'foundations of productivity' (ideas, people, infrastructure, business environment and places). NHSF has reviewed the published strategy against the proposals it made as part of the consultation on the Green Paper and has published this Briefing Note that summarises implications and opportunities for heritage science.
Brexit Science and Innovation summit
The Science and Technology Select Committee (Commons) will be hosting a summit on the topic of Brexit and science on the 22 February 2018. The summit will identify actions needed now to mitigate risks and exploit opportunities for UK science, research and innovation after Brexit.
To help inform this initiative, NHSF submitted evidence to the Committee's Science & Innovation inquiry.
The summit will be streamed live on the Parliament website on 22 February between 9 am and 12.30 pm. The programme has already been announced; panels will feature speakers from University College London, Universities UK and the Wellcome Trust.
Heritage Science and the Mendoza Review of Museums in England
The Mendoza Review: an independent review of museums in England, published November 2017, looks at the challenges and opportunities presenting themselves for all of England's museums, including but not limited to those directly sponsored by Government. It explores the themes of government support and funding, the increase and diversification of audiences, the role of museums in community-building and placemaking, and in supporting soft power, as well as sector resilience.
This briefing note highlights the opportunities for heritage science in the nine priority areas identified by the Review for England's museums.
Briefing note on the DCMS Heritage Statement 2017
On 5 December John Glen MP, then Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for DCMS, launched the government's Heritage Statement 2017. The Statement stresses the importance of cross-government working and announces the creation of a new Heritage Council to ensure greater co-ordination and a strong voice for heritage within government (a need raised by NHSF in its response to the government's Industrial Strategy Green Paper). This Briefing Note summarises the 'we will' actions listed in the Statement. DCMS will develop an action plan to take forward these issues and proposals.
Science & Technology Committee (Commons) inquiry into the Science Budget and Industrial Strategy
In October 2017 the House of Commons Science & Technology Select Committee launched an inquiry into the Science budget and Industrial Strategy. It aimed to clarify the relationship between the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and the 'Sector Deals', review the distribution of funding within the Science budget and other support initiatives, and assess how these were expected to affect place-based growth throughout the country. NHSF has summarised the key points of the inquiry and their relevance to heritage science.
Autumn Budget 2017
The Autumn Budget, announced 22 November, contains statements of interest to the Heritage Science community under the headings of technology, research and development, skills and jobs for a new economy and local growth policies.
UK Digital Strategy 2017: why it matters
NHSF has summarised the key points of the UK Digital Strategy 2017. It highlights opportunities for enhancing engagement, the use of data and digital technology in heritage research and industry, and the role of heritage organisations in skills development for a digital economy.
Cultural Heritage Parliamentary Questions
Between the 27 June and 5 July 2017, a number of parliamentary written questions have been asked by Kevin Brennan MP that relate to NHSF's policy goals. The questions, answered by John Glen and Matt Hancock, covered:
Horizon 2020 and the Erasmus Plus Programme
Conservation research funding
Access to specialist materials
Freedom of movement for heritage professionals post-Brexit
These questions follow on from issues discussed at a round table with the Secretary of State in January, for which NHSF provided evidence on the funding implications and expected impact of Brexit.
General Election Manifestos
NHSF has summarised the key points that have a bearing on heritage science from the manifestos of the four main UK parties.
Why heritage science is important, 26 April 2017
Following confirmation that a General Election will be held on 8 June, NHSF has published key facts about heritage science and why it is important to the UK. NHSF calls for strong support from all parties for heritage science and its contribution to tourism, education and industry.
Industrial Strategy Green Paper: 'Building our Industrial Strategy' - Response, 17 April 2017
NHSF has issued a detailed response to the Government’s industrial strategy Green Paper, ‘Building our Industrial Strategy’.
Heritage Lottery Fund tailored review, 7 April 2017
NHSF has submitted a response to the DCMS's tailored review of the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
2016 Autumn Statement
NHSF has issued a statement in advance of the 2016 Autumn statement summarising the issues that it would like to see addressed. It calls on the Chancellor to renew his commitment to underwriting the payment of Horizon 2020 awards, give an indication of the government's medium-term financial plan to support research excellence when the UK is no longer an EU member, and commit to upgrading UK heritage science infrastructure.
Statement on Open Science
Meeting on 14 June, the Board of the National Heritage Science Forum has welcomed the commitment by Science Ministers of European governments to ensure that by 2020 all scientific research which enjoys public funding must be publicly accessible. The unanimous agreement, reached on 27 May, is a significant step for science and public engagement.
White Paper, "Success as a Knowledge Economy"
NHSF has drafted a statement in response to the publication of the White Paper, 'Success as a Knowledge Economy'. NHSF welcomes the white paper and its goals of multi- and inter-disciplinary approaches to research and innovation. It supports the development of a single UKRI structure to coordinate cross-disciplinary research.
House of Lords Science & Technology Committee inquiry, "Relationship between EU membership and UK science"
NHSF has submitted written evidence to the House of Lords Science & Technology select committee inquiry into the 'Relationship between EU membership and UK science'. The submission draws attention to the just under €4 billion of EU funds allocated to heritage science research through the FP7 'Environment' programme alone, the potential lost opportunities in Horizon 2020 (the €80 billion programme in which at least 16 programme strands are identified as relevant to heritage science), and the importance of the mobility of people and international collaboration to the highly interdisciplinary field of heritage science research.
Consultation on Cultural Protection Fund
In February, NHSF responded to the DCMS consultation on the establishment of the Cultural Protection Fund. The Forum's response drew attention to the importance of science in underpinning documentation, conservation and restoration and suggested that the operation of the Fund should take this into account.
2015 Autumn Statement
NHSF gives a cautious welcome to the Autumn Statement and Spending Review announcement of 25 November 2015. The protection of resource funding for science and commitment to taking forward the recommendations of the Nurse review of Research Councils are welcomed. The impact of cuts to BIS and DCMS will be monitored and NHSF will redouble its efforts to build collaboration to drive a new era of openness and sharing that is essential to secure the UK's leadership in heritage science.
Collated extracts from the Autumn Statement, and the DCMS and BIS settlements, that are relevant to the heritage science community.
Historic England's Draft Action Plan 2015-18
The NHSF response welcomes Historic England's commitment to ensuring that heritage science delivers more effective approaches to understanding and protection of the historic environment.
NHSF has commented on the draft Heritage2020 Framework, the successor to the National Heritage Protection Plan that is being developed by the Historic Environment Forum in collaboration with the wider sector.
"Our Plan for Growth: Science and Innovation"
Statement in response to the Government's science and innovation strategy, published 17 December 2014.
NHSF and the Science and Heritage Programme have submitted a response to the BIS consultation on proposals for long-term capital investment in science and research.
NHSF also submitted a response to the subsequent government consultation on its Science and Innovation strategy, due to be published later in 2014.
Future priorities for the National Heritage Protection Plan
Response to the English Heritage consultation on future priorities for the National Heritage Protection Plan. Submitted online 2 May 2014.
Historic Environment Scotland Bill
Response to the Scottish Parliament Education and Culture Committee's call for written evidence on the Historic Environment Scotland Bill. 22 April 2014.
English Heritage New Model
NHSF responded to the Government's consultation document on the New Model proposed for English Heritage and the management of the National Heritage collection. 7 February 2014.