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Alvey Programme

Volume 84: debated on Wednesday 30 October 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what official visits are currently planned by representatives of participants in the Alvey programme, or members of the Alvey directorate, to (a) the United States of America and (b) Japan with a view to the discussion of collaborative projects;(2) what official visits are currently planned by representatives of participants in the Alvey programme, or

members of the Alvey directorate, to

(a) the United States of America and (b) Japan, with a view to the discussion or the sale of research information obtained through Alvey programme work.

No such visits are planned by members of the Alvey directorate and I am not aware of any such visits planned by participants in the Alvey programme. Any exploitation of the results of work funded under the programme outside the European Community would, however, be subject to the agreement of my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list in the Official Report the projects funded by the Alvey programme to date, indicating in each case the company, university, or research body involved and any intended eventual use of the project.

I am arranging to have details of the projects comprising the Alvey programme placed in the Library of the House.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will indicate what funds he has made available in each of the financial years 1984–85 and 1985–86 to work undertaken under the Alvey programme.

One hundred and ten million pounds has been allocated to the Alvey programme by the Department of Trade and Industry. Actual expenditure against the DTI Vote in 1984–85 was £6·5 million and is expected to be £18 million in 1985–86.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what approaches he has received from the United States Government, or from United States based companies, expressing an interest in the purchase of information technology arising out of civil aspects of the work of the Alvey programme; and what has been his response.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what information he has as to how many official visits to participants in the Alvey programme are currently planned by visitors from the Japanese information technology industry, the United States information technology industry and the United States defence industry, and as to the names and status of the visitors concerned.

I am not aware of any such plans for future visits. As a response to an Alvey-led British visit to ICOT, the Japanese fifth generation computer project. a delegation representing the management committee of ICOT was in the United Kingdom between 21 and 25 October and visited the Alvey directorate and a number of Alvey participants. The delegation comprised:

Mr. KotakaVice President, Engineering NEC Corporation.
Mr. EnomotoSenior Manager, Coordination Staff, Technical Planning and Coordinations Division, Toshiba Corporation.
Mr. ImaiChief Engineer, Technical Administration Department, Hitachi Ltd.
Mr. SakaiManager, Administration Department, Technology Administration Divisions, Fujitsu Ltd.
Mr. SuzukiAssociate Director, Engineering Tokyo Branch, Matsushita Electric Industrial Company, Ltd.
Mr. YamamotoSenior Staff, R&D Headquarter, Mitsubishi Electric Group.
Mr. H. HiroshigeSenior Executive Director, ICOT.
Mr. IchikawaManager, Administration Department, ICOT.
Mr. KurozumiAssistant Director, Research Centre. ICOT.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if, pursuant to the answer of 17 December 1984, Official Report column 21, indicating that the majority of the 50 or so firms now participating in the Alvey programme have interests in both civil and defence applications of information technology, he will indicate precisely how many firms fall into this category.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what major advances in the development of advanced information technology have been achieved to date by work carried out under the Alvey programme in each of the following areas (a) software engineering, (b) person/machine interface, (c) intelligent knowledge based systems, (d) very large scale integrated circuits and (e) communications; to what practical use these advances have so far been put; and if he will make a statement.

Alvey is a five-year programme with long-term objectives. Most of the work under the programme is defined and under way but it is early yet to predict quantified results. Some work, such as that in software engineering, may be expected to lead to exploitation within the next year or so; some, such as that in advanced computer architectures, is unlikely to lead to new products before the end of this decade. Progress on projects under way is, however, outlined in the details referred to in my earlier reply to the hon. Member which are being placed in the Library of the House.