HC Deb 15 December 1998 vol 322 c452W
Mrs. Butler

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans he has for the development of the Government's Foresight Programme. [64270]

Mr. Battle

I am delighted to publish today the blueprint for the next round of Foresight which will start in April 1999. Copies have been filed in the Library of the House.

The next round of Foresight will have a broader focus than before. The work will be taken forward through ten sectoral panels and three thematic panels looking at the aging population, crime prevention and the future of manufacturing. Associate Programmes will be run by professional institutions and other organisations, working closely with the Office of Science and Technology.

There will be many avenues for participation, with a particular emphasis on involving young people. An Internet-based Knowledge Pool will provide a unique resource to support Foresight participants and promote widespread debate on emerging results and conclusions.

The Government's vision is to put the future on Britain's side. We have the talent to exploit the opportunities of the future. The forthcoming Competitiveness White Paper will set out a framework for the Government's role in helping British business to achieve this. Foresight is a central part of that framework.

Forward to