£80 MILLION INVESTMENT IN WORLD-BEATING TECHNOLOGY

Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt MP has offered £80million investment to British business for research and development into the latest world-beating innovative technologies

Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt MP has offered £80million investment to British business for research and development into the latest world-beating innovative technologies.

The announcement comes directly out of the DTI's recently published 5-year programme 'Creating Wealth from Knowledge' and the DTI's new industrial policy as a champion of science, innovation and technology.

The £80 million of funding will be available for companies to carry out Collaborative Research and Development in nine high-priority technology areas:

Design, simulation and modelling - powerful computing tools that allow designers and developers to envisage new systems, products and services.

Micro and nanotechnology - exploitation at the micro and nano-scale (atom and molecule) to produce materials with commercially valuable properties, e.g. strong, lightweight, hard wearing

Pervasive computing - finding ways of embedding devices and computer systems around us to provide access to content, applications and services that are on tap and dynamically personalised.

Waste management and minimisation - developing new technologies to reduce or eliminate creation of waste, find new ways to re-use and recover waste products, treatment of hazardous waste, and finding new alternatives to landfill.

Smart materials - materials that respond to environmental stimuli, such as temperature, moisture, pH, or electric and magnetic fields that can be used for novel commercial purposes e.g. reducing the effects of earthquakes in bridges, or in sportswear

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Bio-based industrial products - using biological agents to produce new products that lower costs through reduction in water and energy consumption, waste production and depletion of natural resources

Energy technologies - technologies that can help the sustainable development of new and renewable energy sources.

Imaging technologies - a key technology for obtaining information about the location, shape and composition of people and objects, with a wide range of applications particularly in healthcare and security.

Opto-electronic and disruptive electronic technologies - transmission and manipulation of information and energy in the form of light rather than electricity that could transform the world of silicon- based microelectronics.

The £80 million funding is available through two of the DTI's new business support products in the form of grants for research and development and to promote networks in specific technology areas.

To apply for the new funding and to find out about what other support the Government offers for research and development, companies should visit: www.dti.gov.uk/technologyprogramme

The deadline for submitting a 5-page outline application is 7th February 2005. If successful, project teams will be invited to submit full applications on 7th March with responses required by 3rd May.

This competition forms part of larger Government funding to support businesses in their R&D investments. Over the period 2005-2008, a total of £320 million of DTI funding is available through a Technology Strategy with an additional £50million from DEFRA. Partnership work with other government departments and bodies will increase this amount further.

Source: DTI 29/11/04

Website: http://www.dti.gov.uk