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Cambridge Mit Institute Project

Volume 406: debated on Friday 23 May 2003

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the findings of the Comptroller and Auditor General at the National Audit Office on the Treasury"s role in instigating the Cambridge MIT Institute project, established between the Cambridge University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. [115454]

There have been no published findings by the National Audit Office on the Cambridge MIT Institute project.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what formal appraisal was carried out by the Treasury of the Cambridge MIT Institute (CMI) project before it started operation. [115445]

MIT and Cambridge produced a detailed project proposal for the Cambridge MIT Institute (CMI) in June 2000. On the basis of this and a framework agreement, which set out the terms under which CMI would be governed and funded, public funding was allocated to the project, which then began operation. Given the unique nature of the project, and the lack of accurate metrics in its area of operation knowledge transfer, formal appraisal was not practicable.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which minister was responsible for the Cambridge MIT Institute (CMI) project between 1998 and 2000. [115446]

As part of his programme of reforms designed to raise productivity growth across the UK economy, the Chancellor of the Exchequer was involved at the inception of the Cambridge MIT Institute (CMI), between 1998 and 2000, to discuss how the project could be set up to forge joint educational and research initiatives in order to improve entrepreneurship, productivity and competitiveness in the UK. The Government"s commitment to funding the CMI project for five years was given in November 1999 by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The funding was allocated to the project by the then Chief Secretary to the Treasury during the 2000 Spending Review, which made available resources for the Office of Science and Technology at the Department of Trade and Industry to fund CMI. DTI Ministers are responsible for the management of this budget and the funding of the project.