9. Mr. Knight
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what assistance he is giving to the national transputer support centre.
§ Mr. Butcher
The Sheffield transputer centre is one of six transputer centres supported by the joint Department of Trade and Industry/Science and Engineering Research Council initiative to encourage the wider use of transputers. It is run jointly by the University of Sheffield and the Sheffield City polytechnic. My Department has contributed £635,000 to the transputer initiative.
Does my hon. Friend accept that, because there is a clear benefit to industry, it should be prepared to support these activities and develop the transputer for the market? Does he agree that this is the direction in which we should be moving—a greater role for private sector support?
§ Mr. Butcher
My hon. Friend will have noticed that in my Department's White Paper and subsequent announcements in the enterprise initiative this is precisely the way in which we want expenditure to move. The closer one gets to the markets, the less need there is for public sector funding, and the converse also applies. We believe that at long last the age of the transputer has arrived. It is showing signs of being a great success and I believe that its incorporation in super-minis, in particular, will bring great benefits in market terms.