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Industrial Research

Volume 35: debated on Monday 17 January 1983

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asked the Secretary of State for Industry what assessment is made of the work of industrial research associations; and on what basis their research is funded.

Assessments are made of the outcome of those R & D and technology transfer programmes at research associations which are supported by Departmental funding. Progress is monitored during the course of the work in relation to expenditure. A selection of past programmes from research associations and other R & D contractors is examined in greater depth to identify benefits and lessons to be learned. The research is normally supported on the basis that the Department meets part of the cost of the work, with other support coming from the industrial firms in membership of the association.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what consideration is given to funding industrial research in individual firms rather than in research associations or in Government laboratories.

Proposals for the support of research and development projects in individual firms are always welcome.In reply to a question from the hon. Member for Sudbury and Woodbridge (Mr. Stainton)—[

Official Report, Vol. 28, c. 642–3]—on 29 July 1982 the Minister of State for Information Technology gave figures showing that Department of Industry expenditure on R & D carried out in private sector firms had increased by more than two and a half times in real terms since 1977–78. Over the last 5 years support for the Department's Laboratories has decreased. Work supported at Research Associations is usually of a generic kind that is of interest to several firms within an industry.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what were the total funds made available for industrial research and product development in 1982; and in what industrial categories they were spent.

Statistics are prepared on a financial year rather than a calendar year basis. The expenditure by the Department of Industry on industrial research and development in 1981–82 was £232·7 million gross, or £208·4 million net of receipts. This expenditure included the following:

Space technology59
Civil aeronautical technology26
Development of new products and processes25
Mechanical and electrical engineering24
Materials, chemicals and minerals20
Metrology and standards15
Microelectronics and its applications11
Information technology8
Textiles and other manufactures3
Over £15 million was spent on technology transfer and £26 million was used to support work of industrial relevance at DoI Research Establishments. Over £80 million was spent on R&D carried out in private sector firms.