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Research And Development

Volume 79: debated on Friday 24 May 1985

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what arrangements he has in mind for securing a greater industry contribution towards the cost of agricultural research and development.

I have not yet reached firm conclusions on the precise form of future funding arrangements but in line with the advice of the priorities board for research and development in agriculture and food I intend, along with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland, to seek the views of industry on a system of sectoral contributions. Under such an approach, each sector would be invited to consider the contribution which it might make to the funding of research and development relevant to that sector's needs. Where statutory bodies already exist, I am suggesting that they might take on or develop this wider role of levying their members and then determining the programmes of work they wish to sponsor. In those sectors where statutory bodies do not already exist, I shall be seeking views on the most appropriate arrangements for those who wish to participate. We shall also be encouraging direct and specific commissioning by agricultural or food enterprises.