HC Deb 04 February 1985 vol 72 c393W
Mr. Chope

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he will announce his proposals following the receipt of the report of the materials advisory group.

Mr. Pattie

My right hon. Friend announced on 1 August 1984 that he had received the final report of the group and was considering its recommendations. I am grateful to the chairman, Mr. John Collyear, and members of the group for their efforts. The report rightly emphasises the crucial importance of new materials and processes, and their significance for technical change and competitive advantage in new and improved products. Work in these fields will be to the benefit of industry. It is therefore for industry to decide which areas should be developed and to provide finance for this purpose. I have reservations about the need for public finance and for a separate assistance scheme as such. Whilst there is a need for collaboration between researchers, developers, designers and users of this technology, there could well be more effective arrangements, closer to industry, than those proposed.

I am therefore publishing today the Collyear report; copies are being placed in the Library. At the same time I am inviting industrialists and others to let me have early comment on the opportunities identified in the report and how the most effective co-ordination and collaboration can be arranged. Comments will be taken into account in the review of the Department's support for industrial research and development which I announced on 12 November 1984.