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Small Business Research Initiative

Volume 447: debated on Monday 12 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to the written statement of 16 February 2006, Official Report, column 121WS, on the Small Business Research Initiative, what definition of research is used for the purposes of the initiative; how many of the contracts relate to science-based research; and if he will list the contracts awarded and their values. (75335)

My right hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, South and Penarth (Alun Michael) set out the definition of Research and Development (R and D) in guidelines placed in the Library of the House on 16 February 2006. The guidelines on the Meaning of R and D for Tax Purposes (issued by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on 5 March 2004 for the purposes of section 837A Income and Corporation Taxes 1988) apply. In addition, however, policy studies and R and D directed towards the humanities and social studies will also be included.

As my right hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, South and Penarth said in response to the hon. Member for North Norfolk (Norman Lamb) on 16 November 2005, Official Report, column 1341W, the Government are taking steps to improve disclosure of Small Business Research Initiative performance by Departments. However, this will be at an aggregate level and on an annual basis. Information about individual contracts is a matter for the individual Departments concerned.