HC Deb 11 March 1997 vol 292 cc135-6W
Ms Walley

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what was the level of funding for research into environmental technologies in each of the last five years; and what funding is planned for 1997–98. [19330]

Mr. Page

Support for research and development on technologies for a specific environmental function under the environmental technology innovation scheme, EUREKA-EUROENVIRON and the environmental technology best practice programme was as follows:

Year £ million
1992–93 2.91
1993–94 2.95
1994–95 2.53
1995–96 1.75
1996–97 (to 28 February 1997) 0.71
Total 10.85

That support includes programmes operated by both the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of the Environment.

Some of the research and development supported under general DTI programmes, such as the small firms merit award for research and technology, the support for products under research, LINK and other EUREKA activities and through the Office for Science and Technology's funding of research councils, will be relevant to environment technologies.

Support for new and renewable energy technologies and clean coal technologies was as follows:

£ million
Year New and renewables Clean coal
1992–93 25.5 4.0
1993–94 25.2 7.8
1994–95 19.1 7.9
1995–96 18.3 7.7
1996–97 (to 31 December 1996) 10.2 3.4

Estimates for 1997–98 will be published in the Department's expenditure plans report.

Ms Walley

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what initiatives and schemes for assistance there are to encourage the export of(a) British environmental technologies and (b) British environmental services. [19329]

Mr. Page

The environmental technology and services sector can, of course, benefit from the full range of overseas trade services which are available to all UK companies. Proposals to help businesses enhance their export performance were among those eligible to bid for support under the sector challenge. In addition, under the business and environment programme, the joint environmental markets unit—JEMU—undertakes a variety of activities specifically to assist the environmental industry.

JEMU has done much to raise the profile of the industry overseas. Our export services now treat environmental technology as a priority in nearly two-thirds of Britain's top 80 markets. The unit has published around 60 market opportunity briefs and five sector reports to help UK suppliers identify markets and benchmark performance. JEMU has established a database of more than 4,500 UK suppliers of environmental technology and expertise which is used to answer queries from overseas customers looking for British sources of supply as well as identifying companies for missions and other awareness-raising events. JEMU also works closely with the industry to help representative bodies to identify and address competitiveness issues, such as the major problem of fragmentation, which impact on export performance. This has included help with establishing world-class certification schemes and benchmarking trade association performance.