§ Mr. Ian Stewart
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what his Department is doing to help the United Kingdom manufacturing sector, with particular reference to small and medium-sized enterprises, to maximise the potential benefits from the use of information and communication technologies. 
§ Ms Hewitt
I have today announced the launch of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Carrier Programme.254W
The ICT-Carrier Programme is valued at £12,000,000, including industrial contributions of £6 million.
The programme aims to improve the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in engineering industries by adapting and transferring examples of good practice in the use of ICT from one sector to another. It forms part of the Department's drive to improve the competitiveness of manufacturing industry in a knowledge driven economy.