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Investment of just over GBP80m in innovative technologies announced at Innovate09
[October 13, 2009]

Investment of just over GBP80m in innovative technologies announced at Innovate09

(M2 PressWIRE Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Business innovation in the UKreceives a boost today as the Government-backed Technology Strategy Board announces an investment of GBP82.5m in the development of innovative new technologies.

Speaking at the Technology Strategy Board's annual showcase event,Innovate09, the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills, Lord Mandelson, will encourage business to engage with the Board, arguing that innovation during the downturn is essential to stimulate future economic growth.

Lord Mandelson said: "In difficult times it's crucial that we capitalise on economic opportunities and invest in our future. That's why the Technology Strategy Board prioritises investments in expertise and technologies that offer prospects for growth or address major challenges.

"Between now and next spring, businesses across the UK will be invited to compete for GBP39.5m of government funding for R&D in fields such as regenerative medicine, transport and logistics, agriculture, infectious diseases and low carbon housing. Driving innovation in these areas where the UKhas strength and competitive advantage, will speed our recovery and help deliver a strong economy coming out of the global downturn." In addition, the Board will announce the creation of a new 'Innovation Platform' in Sustainable Agriculture and Food. This will bring business, government and academia together to focus on innovative solutions to the challenge of food production and its environmental impact. The Technology Strategy Board will invest up to GBP50m in this programme over the next five years, and other organisations, including Defra and the Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), will also make significant contributions.

Chairman of the Technology Strategy Board, Dr Graham Spittle said: "This year we are placing particular emphasis on innovation in the critical areas of energy, low carbon technologies, life sciences and the digital economy.

As part of our thinking we have also been working with business to develop forward-looking innovation strategies for many key sectors. Five of these strategies are being published for the first time today - looking at nanoscale technologies, medicines and healthcare, biosciences, resource efficiency and emerging technologies. We are looking forward to working with business to realise the growth opportunities which these reviews have identified." Editor's notes 1. Press contact:Claire CunninghamTel: 01793 442901,Mobile: 0755 4115745

2. The Technology Strategy Board announces investments of GBP82.5m today. GBP39.5m will go towards R&D calls over the next six months and the Board expects to invest up to GBP50m in its new Agri-Food Innovation Platform over the next five years. GBP7m of the GBP39.5 will come from the Technology Strategy Board's GBP50m investment in the new Innovation Platform.

3. Information on the Technology Strategy Board's announcements today The Technology Strategy Board is launching six new R&D calls today that will see GBP39.5m of its money invested in six innovative technology focused projects over the next six months. They are: -- Medicines and Healthcare -up to GBP17m In Sept 2009 the Technology Strategy Board launched a Regenerative Medicine programme of competitions worth a total of GBP21.5m to underpin and enable the best regenerative medicine businesses to flourish in the UKand to build a connected regenerative medicine community. In the first part of the programme, two competitions were launched in Sept 2009, worth a total of GBP4.5m. As the next part of this programme the Technology Strategy Board is announcing its intention to launch competitions in the first half of 2010 in the areas of 'regenerative medicines therapeutics' and 'Grand Challenges in Tools and Technologies'. The total spend across the two competitions will be GBP13.5m from the Technology Strategy Board and GBP3.5m from Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Medical Research Council (MRC).

Low impact Buildings- User Centred Design - working towards innovative solutions to achieving energy efficiency in buildings - GBP2m This will take the form of a problem solving forum or 'sandpit' where 30 representatives from industry and academia will spend five days in March 2010 focussing on innovative solutions to the challenge of achieving energy efficiency in new and existing non-domestic buildings through research and design. This will be led by Prof Calvin Taylor from the Universityof Leeds. Places at the sandpit are allocated through a competitive process. Once selected to attend, the sandpit will be a collaborative activity and will result in the commitment of funding 'in principle' for consortium research projects developed by the participants. An indicative GBP2m of Technology Strategy Board funding is allocated to collaborative R & D projects arising from the sandpit that address the challenge. The deadline for applications to attend is 1200 on 17 December..

-- Detection and Identification of Infectious Agents- Fighting Infection through detection - GBP11m In response to the challenge of infectious diseases, and in line with the priorities of the Department of Health (DH) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Innovation Platform on the Detection & Identification of Infectious Agents (DIIA), will open its first competition, Fighting Infection Through Detection, on 18 January 2010. The competition will support three separate funding tracks, Feasibility, Fast-track and a Main Call, and will see an investment of up to GBP11m (up to GBP10m from the Technology Strategy Board and up to GBP1m from the DH). Feasibility projects are designed to explore novel solutions to DIIA and to lead to the development of rapid tests and Point-of-Care (POC) devices. Fast-track projects are to encourage the adoption and uptake of rapid/POC devices into clinical practice through the support of pilot schemes. The main call will span from development through to pilot schemes to test devices in the environment for which they have been developed. The application deadline for Feasibility and Fast-track projects and the main call deadline for compulsory Expressions of Interest is 25 February 2010.

-- Sustainable Agriculture and Food- Crop Protection - working towards innovative solutions to the challenge of increasing yield and limiting environmental impact- up to GBP13m A collaborative R&D competition with up to GBP13m investment to help crop growers (arable and horticulture, forage and non-food crops) respond to the dual challenges of increasing the productivity of crops while reducing the environmental impact of crop production. This initiative aims to help meet new and existing EU regulations on the approval and use of pesticides (some widely used insecticides, fungicides and weed control products are likely to lose approval from 2010). This competition is particularly relevant to current and new businesses and practitioners across the agricultural supply chain. The Technology Strategy Board will invest GBP7m, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) up to GBP3.5m, and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) GBP2.5m.Competition opens 18th January 2010. Expressions of interest must be submitted by 25 February 2010.

Intelligent Transport Systems and Services- Informed Logistics - working to support the UKlogistics industry and devise innovative solutions for the movement of goods-up to GBP10m A collaborative R & D project ,that aims to develop innovative systems and services to enable more effective movement of goods within the UK. This funding will be available through an open competition on the theme of "Informed Logistics". Project consortia are asked to consider how to develop innovative systems and services that effectively inform operations throughout the whole supply chain and across the whole transport network. The Technology Strategy Board encourages innovation across the whole spectrum of goods distribution including rural, local, regional, national and international distribution. The total funding available will be up to GBP10m, with GBP7m coming from the Technology Strategy Board and the rest from the Highways Agency, EPSRCand others. Competition opens : 2 November 2009. Expression of Interest: 10 December 2009.

New Sustainable Agriculture and Food Innovation Platform The Technology Strategy Board together with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and others is to bring the government, business and researchers together in a major initiative to stimulate the development of new technologies that will increase food productivity, while decreasing the environmental impact of the food and farming industries. The new programme - called the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Innovation Platform - will see investment of up to GBP75 million over the next five years in innovative technological research and development in areas such as crop productivity, sustainable livestock production, waste reduction and management and greenhouse gas reduction. The Technology Strategy Board's expected overall contribution is up to GBP50m. For a full press release please see our website from 13th Oct: Five New Innovation Strategies The Technology Strategy Board is launching five new innovation strategies today in nanoscale technologies, medicines and healthcare, biosciences , resource efficiency and emerging technologies. Please see section at the end of this press release where further detail is provided about each strategy.

4. Dr Graham Spittle is Chairman of the Technology Strategy Board and VP of Software for UK, Irelandwith IBM. He was appointed to his present position in early 2007. For a more in depth biography please visit this link: 5. Innovate '09taking place today (Tues 13th Oct) at the Business Design Centre, Londonis The Technology Strategy Board's annual conference and exhibition on business innovation. Attended by over 1,000 business and technology professionals across the UK, Innovate '09: for Growth will address all aspects of technology innovation, with special focus on the Technology Strategy Board's priorities: energy , low carbon technologies, healthcare, and digital. Keynote speakers include: The Rt. Hon. Lord Mandelson,Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Lord Sugar, Enterprise champion for the Government, Professor Gordon Murray, CEO & Technical Director of Gordon Murray Design, Dr. Ruth McKernan, Chief Scientific Officer at Pfizer Regenerative Medicine and Sara Murray, founder of and Buddi Limited. A media briefing will take place at 08:30 at the Business Design Centre on the morning on of the event. 6. The Technology Strategy Board is a business-led executive non-departmental public body, established by the government. Its role is to promote and support research into, and development and exploitation of, technology and innovation for the benefit of UKbusiness, in order to increase economic growth and improve the quality of life. It is sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). For more information please visit

7. The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) led by Lord Mandelson is building a dynamic and competitive UKeconomy by: creating the conditions for business success; promoting innovation, enterprise and science; and giving everyone the skills and opportunities to succeed. To achieve this it will foster world-class universities and promote an open global economy. BIS - Investing in our future. 8. Building Britain's Future - New Industry, New Jobs (published on 20 April 2009) identifies key areas where Government action can have most impact, investing in growth to speed recovery and building manufacturing and services essential to ensure British people and businesses can compete successfully for the jobs of the future. New Industry, New Jobs identifies a number of areas where strong UK capabilities should be a priority for Government attention and support, including many areas that the Technology Strategy Board supports - to help adapt to the low carbon age and to help the UK retain its existing strengths. 9. Further information on The Technology Strategy Board's five new strategies, launched today.You will be able to find copies of these publications from 13 October onwards in the publications library on our website All five strategies were developed in close collaboration with their appropriate business / academic communities and other key stakeholders.

Nanoscale Technologies Strategy This is a three -year strategy that encourages the business community to exploit nanoscale technology solutions for commercial advantage and to help address societal challenges we face today such as living with environmental change, living with an ageing / growing population and living in an intelligent connected world. Nanoscale technologies are enabling technologies that offer new functionality to products and processes. The UKis world class in some nanoscale technology activities and we should prioritise and focus this fact through the integration of these technologies into new products and processes. This Nanoscale Technologies Strategy highlights those areas that will help UKbusinesses to focus.

The strategy aims to achieve the following objectives: - Further develop knowledge transfer and collaboration in the emerging field of nanoscale technologies between academia and industry - Encourage collaboration with Research Councils - Work to promote responsible commercialisation of nanotechnologies - Further develop appropriate approaches to working with Europe for UKbenefit - Working towards a common UKgovernment strategy for nanotechnology Following on from the publication of the strategy, the Technology Strategy Board hopes to discuss priority areas of focus with the business community and establish where we can offer help and advice through our activities.

Resource Efficiency strategy This is a three-year strategy aimed at any business interested in improving their use of resources and/or reducing waste. Our growing population and improving standard of living mean that we will not be able to ensure access to the key resources our society is built on − whether it's food and water or minerals, metals and oil − if current trends in consumption continue. Resource efficiency has a key role to play in mitigating wider issues such as depletion of resources, environmental impact and materials security, and it also contributes significantly to the low-carbon economy.

This strategy provides a framework for the UKto generate wealth through more productive use of material resources, balancing the need to keep those materials secure and the need to address global environmental impact. The strategy also recognises the contribution that resource efficiency has to the low carbon economy by considering the cumulative contribution of carbon emissions through the life-cycle of a product. The strategy aims to achieve the following objectives: - Enhance UKwealth generation through the more efficient use of material resources - Improve material security to increase long term business performance and prosperity - Further develop knowledge transfer & collaboration in the field of resource efficiency, and increase the number and range of knowledge transfer partnerships in the sector - Work with government bodies to better co-ordinate support for resource efficiency in the UK - Develop appropriate approaches to working with Europe for UKbenefit The Technology Strategy Board aims to engage with business as it translates this strategy into a delivery plan.

Medicines and Healthcare Strategy This is a three-year strategy aimed at companies that can provide solutions to the challenges faced by healthcare providers. The medicines and healthcare industry is facing imminent changes and challenges which will dramatically affect healthcare provision. Many companies acknowledge that there will be serious consequences for the industry unless they embrace new business and innovation models that overcome the development hurdles to the types of products and services that are needed to fulfil the needs of healthcare providers and patients.

This strategy provides a business-led vision for the UKmedicines and healthcare sector and will be delivered with a focus on commercial developmental research to turn ideas into products and services, the uptake of innovation and the facilitation of collaboration. It identifies a number of opportunities for the healthcare industry as various trends and drivers make their impact on the way healthcare is provided in the future. The Technology Strategy Board will be focussing its future activities and investments on opportunities in: - Disease prevention and proactive management of chronic disease - Earlier and better detection and diagnosis of disease leading to marked improvements in patient outcomes - Highly effective treatments that are tailored to patients' needs and either modify the underlying disease or offer potential cures.

The Technology Strategy Board has developed close working relationships with key partners in the healthcare areas and we are looking forward to building on these relationships and building new partnerships with the key players in medicines and healthcare technology sectors to help implement this strategy and contribute to wealth creation in the UK.

Biosciences Technology Strategy This is a three- year strategy aimed at businesses and potential academic partners that can exploit biosciences-inspired technologies in global markets. It provides direction with evidence for future activities. The UK, building on its strong base in the biosciences, is well positioned to exploit the business opportunities that will arise as we address the global challenges of a secure energy and food supply as well as affordable healthcare. There are opportunities for markets to develop in advanced biofuels, new crop varieties, biobased materials, novel medicines and sustainable alternatives to petroleum-derived products.

This strategy aims to: - Encourage greater use of genomics-based technologies and knowledge sharing by UKcompanies, in particular those working in non-competitive, distinct sectors - Promote the development of technologies that enable second and third-generation biofuels next-generation biorefinery technologies - Encourage the UKchemicals industry businesses to exploit the opportunities for bio-based processes - Support UKcompanies working in crop, food and livestock protection and ensure that the biosciences play a part in current and future innovation platforms - Increase the number of knowledge transfer partnerships in the biosciences - Help business exploit Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) funded research, with particular attention to their research industry clubs.

Following on from the publication of the strategy, The Technology Strategy Board aims to start a dialogue with business and other partners about the best way to deliver the strategy.

Emerging Technologies Strategy (Executive Summary only currently available) This strategy is concerned with promoting the rapid and successful commercialisation of emerging technologies in the UK. By 'emerging technologies' we mean those technologies that are still emerging from the science base, that are at an early, pre-commercial stage, and that have the potential to enable innovative products, processes or services that will truly disrupt the marketplace. These are technologies that allow something to be achieved that was previously not possible, or possible only in theory. Creating wealth from new technologies is recognised as being difficult and risky, and for this reason we are taking a new strategic approach.

The four elements in our strategy are to: - Invest in technology demonstration - to speed up the process of identifying target end-uses and getting to market - Build critical mass - in the emerging technology itself and the other capabilities critical to its commercial realisation - Create a co-ordinated programme - of aligned activities across the UK - Build and nurture capability - to exploit fully our undoubted strengths.

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