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Motor Vehicles: Innovation

Volume 498: debated on Monday 26 October 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps his Department and its predecessors have taken to support research and development in the automotive industry in the last five years. (293950)

BIS and its predecessors have worked with other Government Departments, the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and other organisations to support research and development (R&D) by the UK automotive sector in a range of ways over the last five years. In particular, the Technology Strategy Board's Low Carbon Vehicles Innovation Platform, launched in May 2007, is the key delivery agent for the Government's R&D funding on low carbon vehicles. The Low Carbon Vehicles Integrated Delivery Programme is a key tool that the Innovation Platform will use to achieve its goal over the coming five years. The programme involves about £250 million of joint Government and industry investment and co-ordinates the UK's low carbon vehicle activity from initial strategic academic research through to industry-led collaborative R&D. £25 million has been allocated to highly innovative, industry-led collaborative research projects in the field of ultra low carbon vehicle development and demonstration.

Government have also supported automotive R&D through the Centres of Excellence on Low Carbon and Fuel Cells (CENEX) and Intelligent Transport Systems and Sustainable Mobility (InnovITS) which have received total funding from this Department of over £13 million. The Foresight Vehicle programme ran from 1997 to 2007 and supported R&D through the associated LINK programme.

Government provided over £45 million funding which supported 100 collaborative R&D projects with a value in excess of £100 million. In addition, the £2.3 billion Automotive Assistance Programme has been designed, among other things, to help support the development of cutting-edge technology in the longer term.