Skip to main content

Industrial Research

Volume 35: debated on Wednesday 19 January 1983

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what requests the Government have received to fund research and development of (a) a safer motor vehicle, car or lorry or (b) a more fuel-efficient motor car.

The Government continuously receive requests from companies and private individuals seeking financial support for research and development programmes connected with safer and more fuel-efficient road vehicles of all types. All requests are carefully assessed for their technological and commercial viability and applications passing this sifting process receive support if the requirements of the published schemes are met.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry on what basis needs are assessed and funds allocated for industrial research and product development.

The Secretary of State for Industry receives advice on the balance and direction of research and development programmes from the five requirements boards. Each board deals with a broad sector of industry and technology and is responsible for identifying and continuously up-dating the R and D and innovation requirements in that sector. The boards are chaired by senior industrialists and membership includes both academics and industrialists.Under the "Support for Innovation" scheme the department supports good R and D projects in all areas of technology. The aim of the expenditure is to improve the technological base of United Kingdom industry or to assist companies to get new or significantly improved products and processes onto the market more quickly. However assistance is given only if it is necessary to ensure that the project goes ahead in the timescale or form proposed. Some areas such as biotechnology, computer aided design and manufacture, flexible manufacturing, microelectronics, fibre-optics and opto-electronics and robotics have been selected as being of special importance for future industry and particular sums of money have been reserved for projects in these areas. It has not yet been necessary to turn down any good R and D proposal because of a shortage of funds.