§ Mr. Hendry
To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many applications have been received for each category of programme under the LINK scheme; how many of these have been approved in each category; and if he will make a statement on the criteria used in accepting or rejecting an application.
§ Mr. Sainsbury
There are 30 programmes under the LINK scheme which fit into five broad categories. According to the records maintained by the LINK secretariat, by the end of March 1992 a total of 985 full proposals for projects under LINK programmes had been received, of which 380 had been approved. The table lists the numbers of full proposals and approved projects for each of the categories.
Programme category Full proposals Approved projects Food and Biosciences 346 106 Engineering 294 103 Sensors and Measurement 155 73 Electronics 127 72 Materials and Chemicals 66 29
It is for each programme management committee to decide on the criteria for accepting or rejecting a project within their programme. However, their criteria will include the scientific quality of the proposal and its industrial relevance, its applicability to the priority areas of the programme and the objectives of the LINK initiative. The programme management committees include a number of industrialists and academics who are experts in the topics covered by a specific programme and advise on the selection of projects.