§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
The Centre for Exploitation of Science and Technology (CEST), which will operate as a completely independent body, is jointly funded by contributions from industry and Government. The Department of Trade and Industry, with the Department of Education and Science and the Advisory Council on Science and Technology are together providing £1 million over five years. The main contribution, however, is from industry with some 18 companies already committing £5 million to the centre's launch. Other companies are expected to join once the centre is underway.
I welcome the setting up of CEST as an important step in helping to create the conditions in which United Kingdom companies can exploit opportunities for innovation. I expect it to do this by improving industry's access to the most up-to-date information on trends and developments in science and technology from around the world and by helping to bring together the scientific community, industry and the relevant parts of the Government.