DTI devolution task

January 29, 1999

The trade and industry department will launch a consultation on the funding of Scottish university research following the creation of a Scottish Parliament, John Taylor, new research councils' chief, announced this week.

Mr Taylor told the House of Lords select committee on science and technology that "research council funding should be a UK-wide responsibility".

Science minister Lord Sainsbury said: "The question of overheads is important (in the context of devolution)."

The committee is reviewing the transparency of this dual support system. Other questions are the regulation of biotechnology, the University for Industry and selectivity in research funding.

The results of a public consultation on the biosciences are due in April. The committee is considering holding an inquiry into public concerns about biotechnology.

A corporate plan for the University for Industry is due to be approved by ministers shortly.

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