§ Dr. Moonie
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps he is taking to improve the take up of grants and other incentives for research and development by small and medium enterprises.
§ Mr. Stewart
[holding answer 16 June 1993 ]: All industrial research and development support schemes administered by my Department are dealt with by one unit, making it easy for companies of all sizes to deal with appropriate officials who are aware of the full range of support and will signpost companies to the most appropriate form of assistance.
My Department carries out a wide range of promotional activities, often working closely with local enterprise companies and other business intermediaries such as management consultants, accountants, and small business advisers in banks to encourage small and medium sized companies in Scotland to take up the support available for research and development both from the United Kingdom Government and the European Commission.
Through the media of seminars, workshops and advice days, information and services are provided which identify opportunities to participate in United Kingdom and EC research and development programmes. Details on calls for proposals and deadlines are disseminated throughout Scotland by the publication of Industry Department's Technology Bulletin. Advice, guidance and assistance is also given to companies regarding the completion and submission of applications.
In addition my officials work closely with the Scotland and Northern England relay centre which specialises in promoting EC research and development initiatives. The relay centre plays a central role in ensuring that the results emanating from the EC's framework research and development programme are used effectively, particularly by small and medium enterprises.