§ Lord Kennet
asked Her Majesty's Government:
How many contracts have been signed with the research institutes of the former Soviet Union to buy technical information and samples of advanced materials, and how this compares with the 28 contracts that the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has signed with such institutes.
§ Baroness Denton of Wakefield
Her Majesty's Government do not hold centrally any information on UK public sector contracts entered into with research institutes in the former Soviet Union, and would not generally be aware of any private sector contracts. Conscious that opportunities for Britain exist in the former Soviet Union on advanced materials, the DTI recently sponsored under its Overseas Science and Technology Expert Mission Scheme (OSTEMS) a fact-finding mission of British technical experts to Russia to obtain an appreciation of advanced composite materials research and technology, and to assess the scope for developing opportunities for collaboration. Mission members included representatives of British industry and academia. Visits were made to eight research and development organisations, four of which were formerly "closed" institutes in the aerospace and defence sectors.
A report on the mission is being prepared and will be launched at a seminar for British industry and academia to be held at the Institute of Materials in London on 11th March 1993. Details of technical information, and samples of advanced materials given to the OSTEMS mission, will be made available at the seminar. The DTI is also sponsoring a visit to Britain of two representatives of the Russian Union of Associations for Advanced Materials, to attend the seminar in London and carry out visits to British companies.