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Spinks Report

Volume 978: debated on Tuesday 12 February 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether, following the recommendations of the Spinks report, he will direct the National Enterprise Board and the National Research Development Corporation to investigate the use of public funds to set up research-oriented biotechnology companies similar to Biogen and Cetus.

The National Enterprise Board and the National Research Development Corporation have statutory powers to invest in industry but it is for the bodies themselves to make individual investment decisions. In respect of NRDC the Secretary of State may give directions only of a general character.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether he will encourage the National Research Development Corporation to expand its operations in the field of biotechnology.

The National Research Development Corporation has been active in supporting biotechnology for some years, and currently has funds available for high-risk but potentially viable projects.