HC Deb 11 February 1999 vol 325 c412W
Dr. Starkey

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what progress has been made on the launch of the Science Enterprise Challenge. [71252]

Mr. Byers

I am launching the Science Enterprise Challenge today. This meets one of our key commitments in the recent White Paper to further strengthen exploitation of the science base. This £25 million Challenge is open to UK universities, to compete for funds to endow up to eight new Science Enterprise Centres. Centres will bring the teaching of entrepreneurship and business skills into the science curriculum and be centres of excellence for the knowledge transfer process.

The Challenge is in two stages; applicants are invited to submit an outline business plan for Stage 1 by 14 April. Those who succeed in Stage 1 will be invited to submit a more detailed business plan in Stage 2. I hope to announce winners in the summer. The lead applicant must be a university. However collaborative bids can include, for example, other higher educational institutions. Copies of the Guidelines for Stage 1 have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.