HC Deb 15 December 1998 vol 322 cc453-4W
Dr. Kumar

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what proposals he has evaluated for setting up an Academy of Invention; and if he will make a statement. [63850]

Mr. Battle

The Government fully recognise the need to harness better the depth of creativity which we have in the UK. Earlier this year the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, with the full support of my own Department, set up the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA), with an endowment of £200 million from the National Lottery, to support talented individuals. NESTA's trustees will soon be consulting on their policies and programmes, which should start next year.

I have had useful discussion with proponents of an Academy of Invention, and other organisations which support invention. They are fully aware that any further public support for inventors must be consistent with and add value to NESTA's operation.