Re: Break even
Where the UK has traditionally not done well is spinning off university discoveries in a sustainable manner All too often IP is sold off for a quick buck rather than the university continuing to benefit from the discovery either through a spin-off or a licensing agreement. Cambridge has done pretty damn well, but even that pales in comparison to the huge high tech developments you see in the US around places like Cambridge MA, Stanford and Raleigh-Durham NC.
And are we sure Osborne's largesse comes without strings? It's not uncommon for government funding to require matching money from other sources.