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Science Base Funding

Volume 228: debated on Thursday 8 July 1993

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To ask the President of the Board of Trade what plans he has to increase the science base funding for industry; and if he will make a statement.

I have been asked to reply.As explained in the White Paper on science, engineering and technology, "Realising our Potential", the Government intend that decisions on priorities for support of the science and engineering base should be much more clearly related to meeting the country's needs and enhancing its wealth creating capacity. To this end: it is establishing a technology foresight capability; it is creating two new research councils to cover biotechnology and biological sciences, and engineering and physical sciences; it has provided all research councils with a mission statement which recognises the importance of research undertaken to meet the needs of users; and it is taking measures to improve the links between the councils and cognate Government Departments. Moreover, the LINK scheme will continue to be an important vehicle for the research councils collaboration with industry, and the Office of Science and Technology will now take lead responsibility for the scheme, with the LINK steering group reporting jointly to the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and the President of the Board of Trade.