Brussels, 31 July 2002
The UK has announced a 20 million GBP (nearly 32 million euro) research programme aimed at encouraging collaborative research in the pre-competitive stage between industry, universities and other research organisations.
Research funded under this 74th LINK programme will cover new basic technologies that can be commercially exploited, such as superconductivity, nanotechnology, data storage, photonics and power electronics. Research is expected to result in new industrial techniques, new healthcare technology and higher rates of productivity.
Mirroring EU funded research projects, 50 per cent of the project costs will be met by the government, and 50 per cent by the project consortium. Projects must involve at least three partners and will be selected following an initial expression of interest by the consortium and then an invitation to submit a project proposal.
Echoing words often spoken by EU Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin, but with a UK focus, the country's Science Minister, Lord Sainsbury, said: 'The UK has a world-class reputation for conducting research in a broad range of leading edge technologies, but we need to widen uptake by industry. This new programme will help to ensure that UK industry is aware of these emerging technologies and will take the necessary steps towards commercial exploitation.'
In addition to the support for applied research projects under LINK, an additional 500,000 GBP (nearly 800,000 euro) per annum will be available to support complementary technology transfer projects and activities designed to increase awareness and uptake of leading edge basic technologies.
The LINK programme was founded in 1986 at the initiative of the then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.
For further information on the LINK programme, please consult the following web address: http://www.dti.gov.uk/ost/link