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Research And Development

Volume 226: debated on Wednesday 16 June 1993

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To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) what steps he is taking to improve the take up of grants and other incentives for research and development by small and medium enterprises;(2) what steps he is taking to improve the ease of access to innovation support programmes by small and medium sized enterprises.

The Welsh Office carries out a range of promotional activities, working with other bodies including the training and enterprise councils, the Welsh development agency, the Design Council and the Development Board for Rural Wales, to encourage small and medium sized companies in Wales to take advantage of the support available for research and development both from the United Kingdom Government and the European Commission.The climate for innovation and take-up of grants for research and development are encouraged through the work of local initiatives such as information technology Wales and the Welsh medical technology forum.In addition my officials are now working closely with the Welsh relay centre which will play a central role in ensuring the results emanating from the EC's framework research and development programme are used effectively, particularly by small and medium enterprises.In order to build effectively on these and other initiatives to encourage innovation, we are consulting on how best to improve access to and delivery of business services in Wales.