Group seeks to improve R&D investment

November 28, 1997

University and college funding. THES reporters assess the impact of the chancellor's pre-budget statement

Ways of increasing UK investment in research and development will be investigated by several new groups announced as part of the chancellor's Pre-Budget Report.

The financing of leading-edge high-tech companies and barriers that may prevent their growth will be looked at by a working group sponsored by the paymaster general, Geoffrey Robinson.

The new group, chaired by Keith McCullagh, chief executive of British Biotech plc, will include members from high-tech companies, financial services and venture capital firms. It will address issues facing UK emerging companies, such as those in universities or research institutes and produce an interim report in January.

A steering group - supported by the Department of Trade and Industry, the Treasury, the Confederation of British Industry and the Bank of England - is also being launched to stimulate and oversee action to address the barriers to growth faced by small, technology-based businesses. Areas to be considered include raising finance and realising the potential of corporate alliances.

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