§ Mr. Ashley
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) how much Government money has been committed to the Alvey project aimed at developing technologies for fifth generation computers; how much has been spent; what progress has been made with the project; and if he will make a statement;
(2) how many research applications have been approved by the Alvey directorate; and what is their total cost;
(3) how many of the research applications approved by the Alvey directorate have been waiting for more than (a) three months, (b) six months, (c) a year and (d) 18 months to receive some or all of the financial support which was agreed at the time of the approval; and what proportion of approved funding has so far been allocated.
§ Mr. Pattie
The Government are providing £200 million towards the Alvey programme of which £133 million has been allocated towards 192 projects technically approved by the Alvey directorate. In total £10 million had been spent by the end of June on these projects.
The work necessary to fulfil the objectives of the programme has been defined, and projects have been identified covering the greater part of that work. In general, progress has been satisfactory but there have been problems over the ability of the Science and Engineering Research Council to finance the academic component of some projects.
The number of research projects technically approved by the Alvey directorate but which have been waiting to receive a full offer of the financial support agreed at the time of the approval are:
- a. waiting for more than three months 17.
- b. waiting for more than six months 9.
- c. waiting for more than one year 3.
A number of these projects and others upon which funding has been approved and offered still await the completion of collaboration agreements between the collaborating parties which is also a condition on the availability of funds.