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Technological Innovation

Volume 84: debated on Wednesday 30 October 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what are the latest Government proposals to help stimulate technological innovation in British industry.

The best way the Government can help to stimulate technological innovation in British industry is by continuing to work towards providing a business climate favourable to enterprise and initiative.In addition, my Department offers a range of measures to assist industrial research and development and innovation. On 25 March my right hon. Friend the then Secretary of State explained that following a review of policy the Department would be making more money available for collaborative research, advisory services and schemes for encouraging best practice, and that support for projects in individual firms would be concentrated on innovative projects which represent a significant advance. Within these arrangements we continue to emphasise certain key technologies and their application such as microelectronics, fibre optics and computer software.For 1985–86 the Department's provision for scientific and technological assistance and support for investment in innovation totals £420 million.An account of the Department's recent activities in support of technological innovation is given in the report entitled "Science and Technology Report 1984–85" published on 28 October, a copy of which I am placing in the Library of the House.