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Research: Small Businesses

Innovation, Universities and Skills written question – answered on 11th March 2009.

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Photo of Adam Afriyie Adam Afriyie Shadow Minister (Science and Innovation)

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills pursuant to the answer of 25 February 2009, Hansard, column 775W, on research: small businesses, which other Government departments are participating in the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI); and whether the revised SBRI format will have been extended to each participating department by April 2009.

Photo of David Lammy David Lammy Minister of State (Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills) (Higher Education & Intellectual Property)

The SBRI is a mechanism by which Government Departments can seek to encourage the business community to develop innovative solutions to meet the Department's needs. All Departments are eligible to participate, and, following the successful outcome of the pilot programme, I encourage all those with appropriate research and development needs to consider using this mechanism.

Lord Drayson and Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Angela Eagle, wrote to ministerial colleagues on 5 November inviting participation in the scheme. The Technology Strategy Board, which manages the SBRI programme, has over the last year engaged with all central departments, to seek to identify suitable opportunities for the use of SBRI. As stated in my answer of 25 February, a £10 million competition with the Department for Communities and Local Government will be launched in March, and the Ministry of Defence, the Department of Health, and the Department for Transport also have advanced plans for SBRI competitions in 2009. The TSB is continuing to work with other Departments to identify further cases where the Departments could benefit from making use of SBRI to meet their technology development needs.

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