§ Mrs. Reneé Short
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will introduce measures to give increased support to joint academic-industrial projects and to encourage British firms to adopt the results of British scientific research.
§ Mr. Butcher
My Department already supports joint academic-industrial research projects which meet the criteria of our support for innovation scheme. In addition we operate the teaching company scheme jointly with the Science and Engineering Research Council and there are now over 100 programmes running. This scheme has proved very successful in enhancing the links between industry and academe. We work closely with the research councils to encourage the transfer of technology from universities and higher educational institutions to industry and to develop collaborative research programmes. Examples include polymer engineering, marine technology and biotechnology. The Alvey programme on advanced information technology will bring together the work of my Department and the SERC with that of the Ministry of Defence and industry.
As stated in the Conservative party manifesto, the Government are committed to accelerating the transfer of technology from the university laboratory to the market place. We are studying with interest the recent report produced jointly by the advisory council for applied research and development and the advisory board for the research councils on improving research links between higher education and industry.