UK’s tech strategy board to be set free

31 Oct 2006 | News
The UK’s Technology Strategy Board is to become independent of government, taking over the programme currently run from within the Department of Trade and Industry.

Alastair Darling: more money.

The UK’s Technology Strategy Board is to become independent of government and take over the Technology Programme currently administered from within the Department of Trade and Industry.

At the same time the government announced a further £50 million funding under a new competition for Collaborative Research & Development projects.

Competing for support

The autumn 2006 competition for Collaborative Research & Development projects is open to business and academic collaborators, including universities, other higher educational (or research) institutions, their spin-off companies and other research bodies. The competition's technology priority areas are: Moving Towards the Zero Emission Enterprise; Low Carbon Energy Technologies; Human Vulnerabilities in Network Security; Technologies for Development and Manufacture of Biopharmaceuticals; Sensors and Imaging for Medical, Security and Environmental Applications; Plastic Electronics; further support for the cross-government Intelligent Transport Systems & Services Innovation Platform.

Alistair Darling, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, said, "Our Technology Programme already supports over 500 projects worth around £750 million of business and government spending on research and development. We will continue to back it. The £50 million available for the autumn 2006 competition that we are announcing today does that, funding new collaborative research in vital areas such as low carbon energy technologies, the challenge of zero emission enterprise and biopharmaceuticals.”

Graham Spittle of IBM, who will continue as chair of the Technology Strategy Board, said, "One of the most encouraging aspects of our work has been the increasing level of engagement and joint funding provided by the Research Councils, regions and government departments.”

"As an independent body, I want the Technology Strategy Board to further build ties with business and continue to focus on areas of UK strength. It will also need to place more emphasis on the use of technology and innovation in the service sector, including in financial services and creative industries, which are key areas for the future."

The TSB will deliver a programme of government support for business investment in, and use of, technology and innovation through support for collaborative research and development and knowledge transfer. It will also work with government departments to develop new technologies to meet public policy challenges. Overall direction of innovation policy will remain with the DTI.

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