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Strong Innovation, Strong Economy

09 January 2009

09 January 2009

Department of Trade and Industry (National) - £100 million fund to drive UK innovation forward.

A further £100 million for UK business to research and develop new technologies from environmentally friendly low carbon projects to leading edge manufacturing was announced in the Budget today.

The Collaborative R&D competition, part of the DTI-led Technology Programme, will provide funding to the most innovative, marketable projects which will boost the UK economy.

Trade and Industry Secretary, Alistair Darling, said;

"Innovation and technology are UK strengths.

"To stay at the cutting edge we need to keep on investing in the new technologies that give our economy competitive advantage.

"The sheer range of ideas this scheme has funded so far is impressive. From research into bio-fuels to biodegradable plastics made from plant fibres, pacemakers powered by human movement through to implants for broken bones which dissolve safely, accelerating healing.

"Our ingenuity and creativity is a badge for the UK. We want to see more of it which is why we are backing it with hard cash."

The £100 million will provide:

* £40 million for advanced manufacturing projects - including design engineering technology to boost competitiveness and sustainability in sectors such as aerospace, vehicles and energy.
* £15 million for energy technologies - both renewable low-carbon options and ensuring the continued production of hydrocarbon reserves
* £15 million for lightweight materials
* £5 million for plastic electronics - to build on the UK's current competitive edge in this field.
* £7 million to areas of medicine which bring together materials, nanotechnology, tissue engineering with surgical and clinical sciences.
* £8 million for ICT - developing technologies to support better networked business

Research Councils will provide a further £10 million for projects with a high quality academic component.

The competition, which formally opens on 24th April 2007, further boosts the Technology Programme, which has contributed to over 600 projects across 40 technology areas with a combined business and Government investment of more than £900 million since its launch in 2004. 22 Knowledge Transfer Networks (KTNs) have also been established with funding of around £40m over three years.

The TSB will be strengthened this summer when it becomes an executive Non Departmental Public Body, responsible for delivering Government financial support in a range of ways, including Collaborative R&D, Knowledge Transfer Networks, Innovation Platforms and Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, to encourage business investment in, and use of, technology across all sectors of the UK economy.

The Technology Strategy Board will determine the best balance of funding, further build ties with business and continue to focus on areas of UK strength. It will also place more emphasis on the use of technology and innovation in the service sector, including in financial services and creative industries, which are key areas for the future.

The TSB will support close partnerships between Government and business in developing and exploiting new technologies and work with Government Departments and Agencies and the Devolved Administrations, the Regional Development Agencies and the Research Councils.