HC Deb 19 November 1987 vol 122 cc657-8W
30. Mr. McLeish

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will outline the process for reviewing the priorities and objectives for research and development within his Ministry.

Mr. Donald Thompson

There are regular reviews of all areas of research and development work, which draw on advice from research consultative committees consisting of representatives from both industry and the scientific community. These report to a Priorities Board established in 1984 to advise Agriculture Ministers and the chairman of the Agricultural Food Research Council on priorities and the allocation of research budgets. We are also in the process of examining the current balance between industry and Government funding.

57. Mr. Wray

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he has plans to make changes in the number of staff engaged in research and development or advisory work.

Mr. Donald Thompson

The number of staff engaged on all activities, including research and development arid advisory work, is kept under review in order to ensure that our objectives are efficiently and cost effectively met.

63. Mr. Martyn Jones

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is his estimate of the expenditure to be incurred by his Department on research and development during 1987–88 and 1988–89.

Mr. Donald Thompson

The latest estimates of the research and development expenditure which will be incurred by my Department are £112 million in 1987–88 and £117 million in 1988–89. These figures are on a full economic cost basis, including an appropriate apportionment of general departmental overheads and provision for superannuation, which is not borne on my Department's Votes.

50. Mr. Michael

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is his Department's definition of near market research for the purpose of research and development grants.

Mr. Donald Thompson

Near market research is not a term of art and we have no formal definition of it. It is, however, a convenient way of referring to work with commercial potential, to which the Government believe that industry should make a financial contribution

Back to