Employment, Universities and Skills and Housing

Part of Business of the House – in the House of Commons at 7:16 pm on 8th December 2008.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Brian Iddon Brian Iddon Labour, Bolton South East 7:16 pm, 8th December 2008

Yet again, I entirely agree with my hon. Friend.

The Select Committee has recently returned from China and Japan, and I would like to refer to something that particularly impressed me. As I have already said, the Technology Strategy Board will hopefully transfer invention into useful products for society, but in Japan there was a different model that we looked at. It was called an innovation hub, but its authentic title is the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and TechnologyAIST for short. I have not seen anything quite like it anywhere else in the world. For example, Japan's large electronic companies—we all know the names from our Sanyo or Toshiba televisions and so forth—all come together in this institute after a new invention has been made that might benefit the whole world, not just Japanese society. The companies put in their own money to supplement the Japanese Government money in order to explore the new invention and find out whether it may result in any commercial products. At the point when these companies believe that some commercial products can be developed, they of course break out of this institute and go back to their own research bodies, subsequently using the research that they all pooled together in order to bring commercial products forward for the market. I say to the Secretary of State that I think that that model is really worth looking into, especially if he has not come across it before.

My final plea is not to prevent international students from coming to Britain. Apparently, we have backed out of the European blue card scheme in order to bring in our own points-based immigration scheme, which will affect students as it will affect others coming into this country to study, do research or work. I refer to the CASE policy report on the role of international students in British universities. If we allow them to stay, many will go on to do some superb work. The report makes some very good recommendations about how to attract foreign students to study and do research and development work in British universities and how to get them to stay here in order to help British industry and commerce develop its exports. I hope that the Secretary of State will take some of those points into account.

Embed this video

Copy and paste this code on your website