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Science Base

Volume 453: debated on Monday 27 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what initiatives he (a) has taken and (b) plans to take to enhance the science base in the UK economy. (100611)

The information requested is as follows:

(a) Science and Innovation Investment Framework 2004-2014 and subsequent annual progress reports set out in detail the actions taken by the Government to enhance the science base in the UK economy, including measures to enhance the UK's world class research standing, increase knowledge transfer, improve its responsiveness to the needs of the economy, increase business engagement and ensure a strong supply of scientists, engineers and technologists. The Government have more than doubled the Science Budget from £1.3 billion in 1997 to £3.2 billion in 2006 to support their ambition to make the UK the first destination in the world for science and innovation.

(b) Science and Innovation Investment Framework 2004-2014: Next Steps published alongside Budget 2006 sets out the Government's proposals to continue to enhance the research base and includes plans to further develop the Technology Strategy Board as a business-led arm’s-length body, extend research and development tax credits to companies with between 250 and 500 employees, provide a more coherent framework for health research and development and reforms to the Research Assessment Exercise.

Copies of the Science and Innovation Investment Framework 2004-2014, Science and Innovation Investment Framework 2004-2014 Annual Reports 2005, 2006 and Next Steps are available in the House Library or from the DTI website at:

http://www.dti.gov.uk/science/science-funding/framework/page9306.html.