HC Deb 22 June 1981 vol 7 cc34-5W
Mr. Forman

asked the Secretary of State for Industry how many British firms have responded so far to his Department's various schemes for the encouragement of (a) automated small batch production, (b) robotics in industry, (c) computer-aided design projects and (d) the microprocessor application project; and what has been the level of support from public funds involved in each case.

Mr. MacGregor

Within the microprocessor application project 3,131 companies have applied for feasibility studies by consultants and 1,170 companies have requested assistance with development projects. The sums committed so far for approved cases amount to £4.6 million and £16.2 million, respectively.

There are no directly equivalent schemes for the other three subjects, but support is available within the product and process development scheme and through the research and development requirements boards. Support for research and development projects in companies has been provided as follows:

No. of Commitment companies £ million
Automated small batch production 11 4.5
Robotics 11 0.64
Computer-aided engineering 28 2.95

Figures are not available centrally on the number of companies which have shown interest in awareness, training and advisory services in these areas.