Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils

Trade and Industry written question – answered on 4th May 2004.

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Photo of Helen Southworth Helen Southworth Labour, Warrington South

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what evaluation has been made of the ideal skills mix of the Board of the Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils (CCLRC); what the selection criteria are for members of the board how and by whom appointments are made; what contribution CCLRC has made to implementation of the recommendations of the North West Science and Daresbury development group; what input CCLRC has made to the North West Science Strategy; and what targets and milestones have been set by CCLRC to progress the strategy.

Photo of Patricia Hewitt Patricia Hewitt Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry

A number of evaluations have been made of the template for Council membership in recent years, but, in terms of skills, the basic mix of academic user and industry representation has remained unchanged. Last year the number of members was increased to include a greater number of independent industry or user representatives. We intend to keep the template more generally under review. The Minister for Science makes all appointments to the Council on my behalf in accordance with the requirements of the Commissioner for Public Appointments. This is a competitive process overseen by a panel with independent members who recommend candidates who best fit the advertised role and person specification, drawn up in the light of CCLRC's assessment of its needs for expertise.

The CCLRC and the OST have invested £6 million and £8 million respectively, to progress the Energy Recovery LINAC project, providing the underpinning technology and design for a Fourth Generation Light Source (4GLS). This activity is based mainly at the CCLRC Daresbury Laboratory. CCLRC collaborated closely with the North West universities regarding the recently announced PPARC/CCLRC-supported Cockcroft Institute for Accelerator Science, also to be located at Daresbury. As a result, the CCLRC will co-locate its related accelerator science and technology research activity with the Cockcroft Institute. The results of a CCLRC/North West Development Agency joint-funded analysis of the opportunities for commercial exploitation of Daresbury Laboratory research, and the options for a proposed mixed-economy Daresbury Campus, have now been received. The latter activity will involve the North West Universities and industrial partners with the CCLRC, and the participants are seeking to establish a new "North West Science Partnership" by summer 2004.

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