HC Deb 01 July 1958 vol 590 cc1046-7
7. Mr. R. W. Elliott

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works, as representing the Lord President of the Council, what steps have been taken by the Government's Production Engineering Research Association to ensure that its research results are being applied in industry.

Mr. H. Nicholls

The Production Engineering Research Association is an autonomous body controlled by representatives of member firms and supported by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research. To get research results across to industry, particularly at the shop floor level, the Association has developed an effective liaison and advisory service for its member firms; it is spending one third of its resources on this service. Short instructional courses on new production techniques are held in the Associations' Melton Mowbray laboratories for foremen and works executives. A mobile unit provides practical demonstrations and instruction in members' works; and about 3,000 technical inquiries are answered each year.

Mr. Elliott

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that information. Can he say how widely these services are being utilised?

Mr. Nicholls

Yes, Sir. During the past year about 1,650 persons have attended the training course in the laboratories and 150 visits were made by the mobile unit. It should be emphasised that the service is available only to member firms of the association.

Mr. Woodburn

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that engineers in Scotland do not always consult East Kilbride, but sometimes go to the universities? Is he satisfied that the connection between East Kilbride, engineering firms and universities in Scotland is sufficiently close so that if problems arise East Kilbride will not be ignored in the search for their solution?

Mr. Nicholls

I should have thought that they were well aware of the help that they could be to each other, but, in view of the right hon. Gentleman's comment, I will have the matter looked into.

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