HC Deb 17 November 1981 vol 13 cc99-100W
Mrs. Renée Short

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will give a detailed breakdown to show how and in what areas the £60 million for information technology is to be spent.

Mr. Kenneth Baker

The Department of Industry has allocated money for the support of various information technologies in the following way:

  • Microprocessor Awareness Project—£55 million (commenced 1978)
  • Microelectronic Industry Support Programmes—£55 million (commenced 1978)
  • Information Technology Awareness and Product Development—£80 million (over 4 years—commencing 1981)
  • Fibre Optics and Opto-Electronics Scheme—£25 million (over 5 years commencing 1981)
  • Support for Industrial Robots—£10 million (over 3 years—commencing 1981)
  • CAD/CAM Awareness Programme—£6 million (over 3 years—commencing 1981)

In addition research and development is commissioned by the Electronics and Avionics Requirements Board, which in its last year of operation as the Computers, Systems and Electronics Requirements Board (1980–1) amounted to £6 million. Also some of the projects supported under the Department's other requirements boards and the general product and process development scheme fall in the information technology field.

All these schemes are demand related and actual outturn may differ from forecast, but in a full year of operation these allocations represent an annual expenditure of over £60 million.

Further support for information technology is provided by the Department's space programme, currently amounting to £45 million per annum and by British Telecom's research programme, currently £100 million per annum.