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Government backs Hauser proposal

Business Secretary Lord Mandelson has announced the government's support for developing a network of technology and innovation centres 

Business Secretary Lord Mandelson has announced the government's support for the development of a network of technology and innovation centres that will help deliver the industries and jobs of the future. The recommendations were made in a report by technology entrepreneur Hermann Hauser, who was commissioned in January 2010 by Lord Mandelson in the publication Going for Growth: Our Future Prosperity to conduct a review into how the UK could learn from other countries' innovation networks.

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

According to Lord Mandelson, the report recognises that the UK is strong in many technology areas and the centres to be developed would help exploit that commercially. The centres will 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.

"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," Lord Mandelson said.

The Technology Strategy Board will be tasked to work with industry, stakeholders, and wider government including the Research Councils, Regional Development Agencies and Devolved Administrations on how to implement the recommendations in the Hauser review and to report back by the Pre-Budget Report on the process, priority areas, scale of investment required and governance structure.

In his review, Hauser stated: "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."

29th March 2010


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