Development of new UK Technology and Innovation Centres to be guided by Technology Strategy Board

25 Mar 2010

The Business Secretary Lord Mandelson has asked the Technology Strategy Board to guide the development of a network of technology and innovation centres that will help deliver the industries and jobs of the future.

The Board has been tasked to work with industry, stakeholders, and wider government including the Research Councils, Regional Development Agencies and Devolved Administrations on the implementation of the recommendations in the Hauser review, a report by technology entrepreneur Hermann Hauser. The report looks at leading technology and innovation centres in other countries and recommends that the UK builds its own network.

The elite group of centres will help commercialise the output of the UK's world leading research and will drive economic growth in potential high growth sectors that will emerge from commercialising technologies such as stem cells and regenerative medicine or future internet technologies. Commercialising these technologies could enable the UK to capture a significant proportion of global markets potentially worth billions of pounds.

Welcoming the report, Lord Mandelson, said it recognised the UK was strong in many technology areas and the centres to be developed would help exploit that commercially. They would take new discoveries from the point where university researchers recognise the potential for commercialisation and help develop the concepts to a stage where the private sector would be able to commercialise it.

"Too often in this country we have been brilliant at research and let others walk away with the commercial benefits of development. If we are to develop new industrial capabilities in Britain, we have to get more D out of our R&D.

Centres can play a vital role in bridging the gap between research and the market, strengthening our national capabilities in innovation."

"I am now determined that the UK builds a capability for the long term, through a more strategic and sustained approach to investing in these centres. Hauser is right that these centres need long term, predictable funding and I am committed to making that happen. I want to understand the UK's strengths, weaknesses and where there are gaps we need to invest in."

In his review Hermann Hauser said:

"The UK has a science capability second only to the US but falls short on translating scientific leads into leading positions in new industries.

"Technology and Innovation Centres can help solve this shortcoming and give Britain the lead in some of the most promising technologies leading to new industries with transformational economic impact."

Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board, said:

"I welcome the findings of the report. The Technology Strategy Board is in an excellent position to lead on the implementation of the recommendations to develop a network of Technology and Innovation Centres in the UK. "

"We provide the link between business and the wide range of academic and public sector organisations that should be consulted in an exercise like this and we also have the breadth of in-house knowledge required to inform the development process."

" A network of world leading Technology and Innovation Centres will further strengthen the UK's technology and innovation capability and help to further our goal to ensure UK business is at the forefront of technology and innovation and is maximising commercial opportunities."

The Technology Strategy Board will set up a management board, as recommended in the report that will be made up of a range of partner organisations including business representatives and public sector funders. This group will advise the Technology Strategy Board on the right areas of focus. The intention is to report back by the Pre-Budget Report on the process, priority areas, scale of investment required and governance structure. Ends

For full press release including notes to editors, please follow this link

Media contact:

Claire Cunningham, Media Relations Manager Technology Strategy Board Tel: 01793 442901 Mob: 07554 115745 Email: claire.cunningham@tsb.gov.uk

Additional contact: Nick Sheppard. Tel: 07824 599644 nick.sheppard@tsb.gov.uk

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Last updated on Tuesday 13 July 2010 at 14:36

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