Chi Onwurah Portrait

Chi Onwurah

Labour - Newcastle upon Tyne Central

Shadow Minister (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

(since April 2020)

Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)

(since April 2020)
Science and Technology Committee
2nd Mar 2020 - 11th May 2020
Science and Technology Committee (Commons)
2nd Mar 2020 - 11th May 2020
Shadow Minister (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Industrial Strategy)
10th Oct 2016 - 10th Apr 2020
Shadow Minister (Business, Innovation and Skills)
18th Sep 2015 - 10th Oct 2016
Shadow Minister (Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Sep 2015 - 9th Oct 2016
Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office)
11th Jan 2013 - 18th Sep 2015
Shadow Minister (Business, Innovation and Skills)
8th Oct 2010 - 11th Jan 2013
Business, Innovation and Skills Committee
12th Jul 2010 - 2nd Nov 2010


Oral Question
Thursday 9th December 2021
09:30
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Oral Question No. 18
What recent steps he has taken to ensure that untreated sewage is not discharged into rivers, inland waterways and the sea.
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Department Event
Monday 13th December 2021
16:30
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
First Delegated Legislation Committee - Debate - General Committee
13 Dec 2021, 4:30 p.m.
The draft Network and Information Systems (EU Exit) (Amendment) Regulations 2021
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Department Event
Wednesday 15th December 2021
09:25
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Fifth Delegated Legislation Committee - Debate - General Committee
15 Dec 2021, 9:25 a.m.
The draft Companies (Strategic Report) (Climate-related Financial Disclosure) Regulations 2021
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Department Event
Thursday 6th January 2022
09:30
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Oral questions - Main Chamber
6 Jan 2022, 9:30 a.m.
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (including Topical Questions)
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Department Event
Tuesday 11th January 2022
11:30
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Oral questions - Main Chamber
11 Jan 2022, 11:30 a.m.
Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (including Topical Questions)
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Department Event
Thursday 10th February 2022
09:30
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Oral questions - Main Chamber
10 Feb 2022, 9:30 a.m.
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (including Topical Questions)
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Department Event
Tuesday 22nd February 2022
11:30
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Oral questions - Main Chamber
22 Feb 2022, 11:30 a.m.
Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (including Topical Questions)
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Division Votes
Tuesday 7th December 2021
Nationality and Borders Bill
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 168 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 233 Noes - 318
Speeches
Monday 6th December 2021
Storm Arwen: Power Outages

The Secretary of State can make it to the north-east for a photo-opportunity, but he will not come here to …

Written Answers
Wednesday 8th December 2021
Africa: Military Aid
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many African countries the Government has agreements with affording British military …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 15th November 2021
6. Land and property portfolio: (i) value over £100,000 and/or (ii) giving rental income of over £10,000 a year
From 2 September 2016, a house in Northumberland: (i). (Registered 02 November 2016)
EDM signed
Monday 5th July 2021
GKN Automotive alternative plan
That this House is alarmed by GKN Automotive’s decision to close its Birmingham factory next year, with the loss of …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Chi Onwurah has voted in 341 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Chi Onwurah Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
Matt Warman (Conservative)
(104 debate interactions)
Nadhim Zahawi (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Education
(101 debate interactions)
Amanda Solloway (Conservative)
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
(32 debate interactions)
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View all Chi Onwurah's debates

Newcastle upon Tyne Central Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

Chi Onwurah has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Chi Onwurah

22nd June 2021
Chi Onwurah signed this EDM on Monday 5th July 2021

GKN Automotive alternative plan

Tabled by: Jack Dromey (Labour - Birmingham, Erdington)
That this House is alarmed by GKN Automotive’s decision to close its Birmingham factory next year, with the loss of over 500 highly skilled jobs and work transferred to continental Europe; notes that GKN’s origins trace back to the industrial revolution, with over 260 years of history that include making …
67 signatures
(Most recent: 7 Sep 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 63
Independent: 2
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Scottish National Party: 1
30th December 2020
Chi Onwurah signed this EDM on Wednesday 27th January 2021

Holocaust Memorial Day 2021

Tabled by: Bob Blackman (Conservative - Harrow East)
That this House notes that on 27 January 2021 the UK will observe Holocaust Memorial Day marking the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, where an estimated 1.1 million people were murdered; commemorates the six million victims of the Holocaust; further notes that the theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2021 …
97 signatures
(Most recent: 11 May 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 45
Scottish National Party: 31
Conservative: 7
Liberal Democrat: 4
Independent: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
Green Party: 1
Alba Party: 1
View All Chi Onwurah's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Chi Onwurah, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.

MPs who are act as Ministers or Shadow Ministers are generally restricted from performing Commons initiatives other than Urgent Questions.


2 Urgent Questions tabled by Chi Onwurah

Monday 25th October 2021
Wednesday 10th June 2020

Chi Onwurah has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Chi Onwurah has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Chi Onwurah has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


1284 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
18 Other Department Questions
24th Nov 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, with reference to the Answer of 14 June 2021 on Racial Discrimination: Technology, when a response to the The Independent Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities Report will be published; and what assessment she has made since the previous Answer of the feasibility of defining fairness mathematically as proposed in the Commission's Report.

The Government is carefully considering the findings of the independent Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities report and will publish its response in due course.

In line with the Commission’s findings, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) published a consultation in September 2021 examining the role of sensitive personal data in bias detection and mitigation in AI systems, and the use of the term ‘fairness’ in a data protection context. The consultation is now closed and DCMS is analysing the responses.

The National AI Strategy published in September 2021 also sets out further government action to address concerns around fairness and algorithmic bias. The strategy can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-ai-strategy/national-ai-strategy-html-version.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
24th Nov 2021
What steps she is taking to tackle the effect of algorithmic bias on equality.

We take this issue very seriously. On Monday my Rt Hon. friend the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care announced a review into possible inadvertent bias in medical devices. The Equality and Human Rights Commission has also set tackling the challenges faced by AI as one of the priority work areas in its draft strategic plan for the next three years. It is engaging with key stakeholders in AI, like the Ada Lovelace Institute and the Alan Turing Institute and is developing guidance on AI and the Public Sector Equality Duty, for government departments and public bodies, which will be published early in the new year.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
9th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy in the level of building of new social housing; and if he will make new social housing building part of his Department's levelling up agenda.

Since 2010, we have delivered over 542,400 new affordable homes, including over 382,300 affordable homes for rent, of which over 149,400 homes for social rent. New social housing is a key priority for the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

As part of our drive to level up, we are keen to see affordable homes built right across the country, supporting all communities. Sixty-five per cent of the £11.5 billion Affordable Homes Programme 2021-26 is due to go to regions of England outside of London, up from 55% in the 2016-23 Programme.

To ensure Social Rent homes are built where they are most needed, we have changed the rules for Social Rent making grant available for it right across the country and provided additional funding to deliver Social Rent homes in local authority areas where affordability pressures are highest.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
9th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment he has made for the implications of his policy of the IPPR's report entitled, Time to act: Understanding the impact of Covid-19 on disabled people in the north of England, published 3 September 2021 on levelling up to address inequalities.

Since the start of this pandemic, this Government has worked hard to ensure disabled people have access to employment support, disability benefits, financial support, food, medicines, as well as accessible communications and guidance during the COVID-19 outbreak.

As we recover from the pandemic, we are committed to taking action to create a society that works for everyone so we can build back better, and fairer, levelling up opportunities for disabled people. That is why the Government published the National Disabled Strategy on 28 July, ensuring we improve disabled people's everyday lives across jobs, housing, transport, education, shopping, culture, justice, public services, and data and evidence.

We are also making a systemic change in the way we tackle regional inequalities to ensure no one is left behind. The forthcoming Levelling Up White Paper will build on existing action across Government to drive change for years to come in every part of the UK.

We are already taking action to improve public services, particularly where they are weakest, including health and education services:

  • We have announced a £2.6 billion over the Spending Review period for school places for children with special educational needs and disabilities, more than tripling current capital funding levels to over £900 million by 2024-25.
  • We are improving access to critical diagnostic services across the country whilst targeting investment at areas of deprivation, by investing £2.3 billion over the Spending Review period to increase the number of Community Diagnostic Centres, including building 8 in the North East and Yorkshire and 5 in the North West.
  • As part of the Plan for Jobs, we are continuing funding worth £339 million per year for existing disability employment programmes such as the Access to Work scheme and the Work and Health programme.
  • We are also providing an additional £156 million over the Spending Review period to provide job finding support for disabled people, with a focus on additional work coaches.
Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
9th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, in the context of the Government’s commitment to end rough sleeping by 2024, what recent progress his Department has made in forming a strategy to meet that commitment.

The Government is fully committed to ending rough sleeping within this Parliament and has already made considerable progress to reduce rough sleeping. Much of this work provided the capacity to deliver Everyone In response during the pandemic both locally and nationally.

The Annual Rough Sleeping Snapshot for 2020 showed that there was a 37% decrease in rough sleeping levels from last year.

Our work continues to focus on helping people find longer term accommodation, providing multi-disciplinary support as well as supporting those new to the street. The department is working with partners across government and the sector to consider the role of health, justice, immigration, and employment, alongside housing.

The Government will be spending £2 billion to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping over the next three years, including an 85% increase in resource funding in cash terms in 2024/25 compared to 2019/20.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, with reference to the finding of the Institute for Public Policy Research, published on 3 September 2021, that long term social care expenditure is £5,300 per person lower in the North East than across England as a whole, what steps he is taking to ensure that long term social care expenditure per person is equally distributed among regions.

We are committed to making sure councils continue to get the support they need to maintain key services and build back better after the pandemic. The Spending Review will be the opportunity to consider local government's future funding needs, including social care expenditure. We are committed to the delivery of world-leading health and social care across the whole of the UK, and our 7 September 2021 announcement of £5.4 billion of investment over three years marked an important step on the journey to reform adult social care.

Neil O'Brien
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, with reference to the Centre for Data and Ethics Investigations report of November 2020, Review into bias in Algorithmic Decision-making, what steps the Government has taken to clarify the Equality Act responsibilities of organisations using algorithmic decision-making; and whether the Government plans to bring forward proposed amendments to the Equality Act in respect of algorithmic bias in decision-making.

The Equality Act 2010 (the Act) prohibits employers and service providers from discriminating against employees, job applicants and customers because of or in relation to a protected characteristic. This includes discrimination through actions taken as a result of deploying an algorithm or a similar artificial intelligence mechanism. The key test is how the employer or service provider acts and whether this is lawful under the Act, not the tools used in the decision-making process.

It is for the courts to interpret and apply the law, including where new and evolving technology is at play. To date, it has not been necessary to consider amendments to the Equality Act 2010 in this context and the Government has no plans to bring forward such legislation. However, we will continue to monitor developments.

On 10 September 2021 the government launched a public consultation, Data: A new direction. The consultation proposes reforms to enable organisations to use personal data and sensitive personal data for the purpose of managing the risk of bias in their AI systems. The consultation will close on 19 November 2021.

In addition, the Equality and Human Rights Commission is developing guidance for the public sector on algorithmic decision-making.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, pursuant to the Centre for Data and Ethics Investigations report of November 2020, Review into bias in Algorithmic decision-making, what steps the Government has taken to develop cross-cutting guidance on the Equality Act 2010 and data protection laws in respect of algorithmic bias detection and mitigation.

The Equality Act 2010 (the Act) prohibits employers and service providers from discriminating against employees, job applicants and customers because of or in relation to a protected characteristic. This includes discrimination through actions taken as a result of deploying an algorithm or a similar artificial intelligence mechanism. The key test is how the employer or service provider acts and whether this is lawful under the Act, not the tools used in the decision-making process.

It is for the courts to interpret and apply the law, including where new and evolving technology is at play. To date, it has not been necessary to consider amendments to the Equality Act 2010 in this context and the Government has no plans to bring forward such legislation. However, we will continue to monitor developments.

On 10 September 2021 the government launched a public consultation, Data: A new direction. The consultation proposes reforms to enable organisations to use personal data and sensitive personal data for the purpose of managing the risk of bias in their AI systems. The consultation will close on 19 November 2021.

In addition, the Equality and Human Rights Commission is developing guidance for the public sector on algorithmic decision-making.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, pursuant to the Answer of 25 May 2021 to Question 3857 on Racial Discrimination: Technology, whether the research referred to in that Answer is limited to the research cited in footnotes 101-105 of The Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities' report dated 31 March 2021.

The independent Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities published its findings on 31 March 2021. The report took an evidence-led approach drawing on academic research, expert views and over 2,300 submissions to the call for evidence. The Employment and Enterprise chapter of the report summarises the Commission’s research about Artificial Intelligence systems and bias in technology.

The Commission recommended that the government issue guidance that clarifies how to apply the Equality Act to algorithmic decision-making and require transparency for public sector bodies when this is applied to decisions concerning individuals. The government is still carefully considering the report’s findings and recommendations and will respond in full this summer.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, pursuant to the Answer of 25 May 2021 to Question 3857 on Racial Discrimination: Technology and with reference to the conclusions report of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities report, published on 31 March 2021, whether it is her policy (a) that before dismissing any system, it should be compared with the alternative, (b) that an automated system may be imperfect, but a human system may be worse, and (c) to make a comparative assessment of the potential merits of using (i) automated and (ii) human systems.

The independent Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities published its findings on 31 March 2021. The report took an evidence-led approach drawing on academic research, expert views and over 2,300 submissions to the call for evidence. The Employment and Enterprise chapter of the report summarises the Commission’s research about Artificial Intelligence systems and bias in technology.

The Commission recommended that the government issue guidance that clarifies how to apply the Equality Act to algorithmic decision-making and require transparency for public sector bodies when this is applied to decisions concerning individuals. The government is still carefully considering the report’s findings and recommendations and will respond in full this summer.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, pursuant to the Answer of 25 May 2021 to Question 3857 on Racial Discrimination: Technology, whether she has made a further assessment of the feasibility of defining fairness mathematically as referred to in the The report of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities published on 31 March 2021, other than in the research cited in footnotes 101-105 of that report.

The independent Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities published its findings on 31 March 2021. The report took an evidence-led approach drawing on academic research, expert views and over 2,300 submissions to the call for evidence. The Employment and Enterprise chapter of the report summarises the Commission’s research about Artificial Intelligence systems and bias in technology.

The Commission recommended that the government issue guidance that clarifies how to apply the Equality Act to algorithmic decision-making and require transparency for public sector bodies when this is applied to decisions concerning individuals. The government is still carefully considering the report’s findings and recommendations and will respond in full this summer.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
19th May 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, with reference to her oral contribution of 24 March 2021, Official Report, column 907, if she will publish the research conducted by the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities referred to in that answer; and what steps she is taking to prevent structural racism from being further entrenched by new technologies.

The Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities published its findings on 31 March 2021 and its report is available on GOV.UK. The Employment and Enterprise chapter of the report includes the Commission’s research about Artificial Intelligence systems and bias in technology.

The Commission has recommended that Government issue guidance that clarifies how to apply the Equality Act to algorithmic decision-making and require transparency for public sector bodies when such is applied to decision making concerning individuals. The Government is now considering the Commission’s recommendations in detail and will respond in full this summer.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Prime Minister, how many discussions he has had with how many officials on the takeover of (a) Newcastle United and (b) any other English football club in the last 12 months.

These are commercial matters for the parties concerned. The Government was not involved at any point in the takeover talks on the sale of Newcastle United.

Boris Johnson
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
3rd Sep 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what progress the covid-19 fake news unit has made; and what criteria he is using to evaluate the performance of that unit.

The Counter Disinformation Unit was established on 5 March 2020, bringing together cross-Government monitoring and analysis capabilities. Its primary function is to provide a comprehensive picture of the extent, scope and the reach of disinformation and misinformation on Covid-19, and to work with partners to ensure appropriate action is taken.

Government has been identifying and resolving up to 70 incidents a week, often false narratives containing multiple misleading claims coordinating with departments across Whitehall to deploy an appropriate response. This can include a direct rebuttal on social media, working with platforms to remove harmful content, and ensuring public health campaigns are promoted through reliable sources. A range of criteria from engagement rates to speed of response is used to evaluate the effectiveness of the actions taken.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
3rd Sep 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, for what reasons there has been a delay in appointing a Government chief digital and information officer; and what assessment he has made of the effect on service delivery of that delay.

In August 2020 the Cabinet Office launched a recruitment campaign for a Government Chief Digital Officer, whose role will be to ensure we can realise the government’s ambition to make UK Government digital services the best in the world. Throughout this time the Government Digital Data and Technology function and Government Digital Service have continued to deliver critical services and expert advice.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if the Government will publish a full register of the algorithms currently being used in the provision of public services throughout Government by each Government department.

The Government’s Data Ethics Framework and ‘Guide to Using AI in the Public Sector’, alongside other guidance are available on GOV.UK, to support ethical and safe use of algorithms in the public sector. Building on existing work on algorithmic and data ethics, the Government is now seeking to deliver more transparency on the use of algorithmic-assisted decision making within the public sector; and is working with leading organisations in the field of data and AI ethics on a proposed approach to algorithmic transparency.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, who is responsible for monitoring or overseeing the use of algorithms used in the provision of public services by the Government.

The Government’s Data Ethics Framework and ‘Guide to Using AI in the Public Sector’, alongside other guidance are available on GOV.UK, to support ethical and safe use of algorithms in the public sector. Building on existing work on algorithmic and data ethics, the Government is now seeking to deliver more transparency on the use of algorithmic-assisted decision making within the public sector; and is working with leading organisations in the field of data and AI ethics on a proposed approach to algorithmic transparency.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Jan 2021
To ask the Attorney General, pursuant to the Answer of 21 January to Question 138966, how many information gateways for the purposes of sharing data his Department has.

The Attorney General’s Office does not hold a central list of all information sharing gateways available to it.

Each information gateway will have its own management and governance requirements and will have to comply with the Data Protection Legislation.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Attorney General, how many information gateways there are in operation in her Department; and how those gateways are managed and monitored.

The Attorney General’s Office (‘AGO’) takes the security of its data very seriously. All electronic gateways are managed and monitored through Government Legal Department (GLD) and Crown Prosecution Service HR, Finance, IT and the Unduly Lenient Sentence (‘ULS’) casework shared service provision. Where issues are identified, appropriate actions are taken. Revealing details of AGO monitoring capabilities in public would likely prejudice the capability, effectiveness and ability to strongly preserve those systems. In order to safeguard processing systems, we are unable to provide the information requested.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish the total value of Government cloud computing contracts (a) awarded to Amazon Web Services and (b) awarded to that company by direct award for each financial year since 2014.

Details of Government contracts above £10,000 are published on Contracts Finder: https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Search.

Publicly available spend data provided by the Crown Commercial Service reports that spend associated with these contracts totals at £371m through G-Cloud Framework Agreements since its 7th iteration up until the present time.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the total value is of Government cloud computing contracts with Amazon Web Services since 2014; and how that compares with the total value of Government cloud computing contracts with the largest domestic UK supplier over the same period.

Details of Government contracts above £10,000 are published on Contracts Finder: https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Search.

Publicly available spend data provided by the Crown Commercial Service reports that spend associated with these contracts totals at £371m through G-Cloud Framework Agreements since its 7th iteration up until the present time.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether Amazon Web Services’ cloud computing contract with GCHQ provides for a minimum of 10 per cent social value in line with public procurement policy; and if he will publish details of what those social value commitments are.

It is government policy not to comment on or discuss details of national security contracts.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the oral contribution of the Minister for Digital and Culture of 9 March 2021, Official Report, column 116WH, what role the Electoral Commission will have in tackling electoral disinformation.

The role of the Electoral Commission is to ensure that elections and referendums are run effectively and in accordance with the law, to register political parties, and to regulate donations and loans to political parties and other campaigners and their spending. The Commission has recently launched a public awareness campaign about online political advertising.

The Government is committed to introducing a digital imprints regime. It will inform voters about the source of digital campaign material. The Electoral Commission will play a central role in ensuring compliance with the regime. This will be a big step forward in making UK politics more transparent and will empower voters to make informed decisions.

Tackling disinformation in all its forms remains a key priority for the Government. As set out in the Full Government Response, the Online Safety Bill will introduce a duty of care requiring companies to address harms on their online platforms, such as misinformation and disinformation. The new laws will have robust and proportionate measures to deal with misinformation and disinformation that could cause significant physical or psychological harm to an individual. Ofcom will be the independent online harms regulator and the Bill will give Ofcom the tools it needs to understand how effectively disinformation is being addressed so that it can take action as required.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to Budget 2021, which departmental budget the £475,000 in funding for the development of a digital and data strategy for armed forces charities will be allocated from.

This £10million fund will help deliver charitable projects and initiatives across the UK that support veterans with mental health needs. The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust, in addition to disbursing their regular funding of £10million per annum, will design and run an open grant competition to award the additional funding to organisations delivering in-scope programmes in support of veterans' mental health.

The £475,000 is new funding representing an opportunity to improve the ability of charities to work together and with government, enhancing the provision of support for veterans and the broader Armed Forces Community. Therefore the additional funds have been allocated to the Office for Veterans’ Affairs, within the Cabinet Office.

24th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 22 February 2021 to Question 153241 on Amazon Web Services: Contracts, whether it is his policy that the denial of (a) labour rights and (b) human rights is a form of Modern Day Slavery.

The Government is committed to working with its suppliers to tackle modern slavery in supply chains, as part of wider government action to tackle business compliance with the Modern Slavery Act.

The Modern Slavery Assessment Tool (MSAT) helps public sector organisations work in partnership with suppliers to improve the policies, processes and systems they have in place to identify and tackle the risk of modern slavery in supply chains. The MSAT records a broad range of information including risk assessments, due diligence and any training the supplier has undertaken to mitigate modern slavery risks. The government continues to work with its Strategic Suppliers in areas the MSAT has identified can be improved.

AWS’s publicly available ‘Amazon Supply Chain Standards’ policy sets out commitment to both labour and human rights.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 22 February 2021 to Question 153241 on Amazon Web Services: Contracts, whether the Modern Slavery Assessment Tool records Amazon's denial of access to toilets for its Alabama workers.

The Government is committed to working with its suppliers to tackle modern slavery in supply chains, as part of wider government action to tackle business compliance with the Modern Slavery Act.

The Modern Slavery Assessment Tool (MSAT) helps public sector organisations work in partnership with suppliers to improve the policies, processes and systems they have in place to identify and tackle the risk of modern slavery in supply chains. The MSAT records a broad range of information including risk assessments, due diligence and any training the supplier has undertaken to mitigate modern slavery risks. The government continues to work with its Strategic Suppliers in areas the MSAT has identified can be improved.

AWS’s publicly available ‘Amazon Supply Chain Standards’ policy sets out commitment to both labour and human rights.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 22 February 2021 to Question 153241 on Amazon Web Services: Contracts, whether the Modern Slavery Assessment Tool records Amazon's support or otherwise for (a) labour rights and (b) human rights.

The Government is committed to working with its suppliers to tackle modern slavery in supply chains, as part of wider government action to tackle business compliance with the Modern Slavery Act.

The Modern Slavery Assessment Tool (MSAT) helps public sector organisations work in partnership with suppliers to improve the policies, processes and systems they have in place to identify and tackle the risk of modern slavery in supply chains. The MSAT records a broad range of information including risk assessments, due diligence and any training the supplier has undertaken to mitigate modern slavery risks. The government continues to work with its Strategic Suppliers in areas the MSAT has identified can be improved.

AWS’s publicly available ‘Amazon Supply Chain Standards’ policy sets out commitment to both labour and human rights.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the effect of Amazon's policies on labour rights in the US on Amazon Web Services's suitability as a supplier to Government.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a strategic supplier to the Government. As a strategic supplier, AWS is asked to complete the Modern Slavery Assessment Tool annually.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
5th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many workers are classed as key workers in the latest period for which data is available; and how many workers were classed as key workers during the covid-19 lockdown announced in (a) March 2020 and (b) November 2020.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, who was on the selection panel for the appointment of (a) Paul Willmott as Chair of the Central Digital and Data Office, (b) Joanna Davinson as Executive Director of the Central Digital and Data Office and (c) Tom Read as the new Chief Executive Officer of Government Digital Service.

Tom Read was appointed as CEO of Government Digital Service following an external recruitment overseen by the Civil Service Commission. The selection panel included the Civil Service Chief Operating Officer, the Director General for Digital and Media Policy, Jacqueline De Rojas, and a Civil Service Commissioner.

Joanna Davinson was transferred within the Civil Service, and Paul Willmott was a direct appointment to an advisory role.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 15 December 2020 to Question 128167 on Government Departments: Databases, which Minister has responsibility for managing and monitoring the Government's information gateways.

I refer the hon. Member to the list of Ministerial Responsibilities published here.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will introduce a quarterly report on gross domestic wellbeing as proposed by the CarnegieUK Trust in its 2020 report entitled Gross Domestic Wellbeing (GDWe): an alternative measure of social progress.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many Information Gateways are in operation across the Government; and how those gateways are managed and monitored.

The information requested is not held centrally.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 3 November to Question 106998 on Government Departments: Internet, whether the Cabinet Office seeks to achieve diversity of supply of Government (a) hosting and (b) cloud services.

The Cabinet Office seeks to ensure that government organisations choose the right technology to meet their diverse hosting and cloud technology needs. Departments are required to follow the Technology Code of Practice when choosing a cloud provider. Public sector organisations can use the Digital Marketplace frameworks to purchase cloud services, hosting technology and support from a wide range of suppliers including many small and medium enterprises.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the total (a) value and (b) number of Government contracts spent with Amazon Web Services was in the last five years.

Data on government spending with suppliers is available on the Crown Commercial Service website. Departments also publish spend data on GOV.UK and are responsible for their own hosting decisions.

As part of the One Government Cloud Strategy, the government has already agreed a number of Memorandums of Understanding with suppliers including UKCloud, Microsoft, IBM, Google and AWS.

The Government is assessing the need for any actions arising from the Schrems II decision. Further announcements will be made in the usual way.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what plans the Government has to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with Amazon Web Services on the use of cloud services.

Data on government spending with suppliers is available on the Crown Commercial Service website. Departments also publish spend data on GOV.UK and are responsible for their own hosting decisions.

As part of the One Government Cloud Strategy, the government has already agreed a number of Memorandums of Understanding with suppliers including UKCloud, Microsoft, IBM, Google and AWS.

The Government is assessing the need for any actions arising from the Schrems II decision. Further announcements will be made in the usual way.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, where the Government's data held with Amazon Web Services is stored; and what assessment he has made of the effect of the judgment by the European Court of Justice in the Schrems II case on that data storage.

Data on government spending with suppliers is available on the Crown Commercial Service website. Departments also publish spend data on GOV.UK and are responsible for their own hosting decisions.

As part of the One Government Cloud Strategy, the government has already agreed a number of Memorandums of Understanding with suppliers including UKCloud, Microsoft, IBM, Google and AWS.

The Government is assessing the need for any actions arising from the Schrems II decision. Further announcements will be made in the usual way.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the diversity of supply of (a) hosting and (b) cloud services to Government; and what proportion of Government web services are hosted on Amazon Web Services.

The Cabinet Office reviews the diversity of supply of government hosting and cloud services.

Departments are required to follow the Technology Code of Practice when choosing a cloud provider. Departments must show that they have chosen the technology which provides the best value for money while meeting user needs.

Details of spend with cloud hosting providers is available on the G-Cloud dashboard.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if any constraints have been placed on the investments of the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Officer Officer as set out in the Civil Service Management Code; and if have they shared the nature and value of their private investments with Government.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to PQ96061.

13th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to his oral contribution of 23 September 2020, Official Report, column 978, whether the updated Border Operating Model document has (a) been published and (b) includes each IT system with which a business will have to interface to trade with the EU.

The Government published the updated Border Operating Model on 8 October. The document outlines the processes and systems required to move goods between GB and the EU from 1 January onwards, as well as the changes due in April and July of 2021 respectively.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what guidance he has issued on the ownership of shares by the Chief Scientific and Chief Medical Officers and others advising Government on science policy.

As has been the case under successive administrations, the Civil Service Code and the Civil Service Management Code sets out relevant conduct standards.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how much funding his Department has allocated to (a) digital skills and (b) cyber skills; and to whom that funding has been allocated.

Government Digital Service (GDS) leads the Government’s Digital, Data and Technology (DDaT) function. The GDS Academy provides training.

Regarding cyber skills, I refer the Hon. member to the answer given to PQs 53531 and 52225 on 09 June 2020. Details of funding are published in the Cabinet Office annual reports.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
30th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 29 June 2020 to Question 64182 on UK Trade with EU, for what reason he did not answer the question of whether his Department holds any economic modelling of the potential effect of (a) a trade deal with the EU and (b) WTO rules trade with the EU on (i) the North East and (ii) the UK.

As the Government has previously stated, it is difficult for a single model or scenario to capture the varying impacts that will be felt across different parts of the economy. We want to stimulate and capture the widest possible range of analysis from economists and academics to businesses and civil society groups. As such, the Government intends to invite contributions in due course about the economic implications of the future relationship.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 23 June 2020 to Question 59762, whether the Government holds any economic modelling of the potential effect of (a) a trade deal with the EU and (b) WTO rules trade with the EU on (i) the North East and (ii) the UK.

I refer the Hon. member to the answer given to PQ 59762 on 23 June 2020.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
16th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to his oral response to the hon. Member for Newcastle upon Tyne Central on 16 June 2020, if he will publish the economic modelling on the effect on the North East economy in the event that a free trade agreement is not secured with the EU.

The economic impacts of our trade deal with the EU are already the subject of a thriving public debate.

A Written Ministerial Statement (HCWS271) made by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 8 June updated on the progress of negotiations.

We will continue to keep Parliament informed with appropriate analysis at appropriate times.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
6th May 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how much the Government has spent on Facebook adverts on (a) the UK leaving the EU and (b) covid-19 in the latest 12 months for which figures are available.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer given to PQ 33512 on 21 April 2020.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many EU workers are employed in the telecommunications sector.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Cabinet Office, what use (a) the Government and (b) local government is making of emergency messaging on mobile phones during the covid-19 outbreak.

National and local governments are using messaging to mobile phones as part of its COVID-19 communications campaign to ensure people across the UK continue to adhere to the guidance to 'stay at home, protect the NHS, and save lives.' This has included the Government sending a message to all mobile phone users to highlight the new rules in force. Local health providers, such as GP surgeries, are also using mobile messaging to advise people of revised ways to access health care services.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
12th Mar 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 25 February 2020 to Question 1979, how much funding from the public purse has been provided to initiatives such as Don’t Feed The Beat that seek to reduce misinformation online in the last two years.

This Government has invested £1.68m in communications initiatives to counter disinformation since March 2018. These initiatives include the RESIST toolkit which helps public organisations respond to disinformation campaigns, and the 'Don’t Feed the Beast' behaviour change campaign to educate and empower those who see, inadvertently share and are affected by false and misleading information.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment has he made of (a) the level of dependence of Government services on DXC Technology and (b) the effect that company's stock market performance on the provision of its services.

The Government regularly monitors the performance and financial health of all our strategic suppliers, including those in the IT sector which include DXC Technology.

We remain in regular discussions with DXC’s leadership team on the execution of their new strategy and continue to monitor their performance on Government contracts.

DXC appointed a new CEO in September 2019 who has launched a new strategy.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
28th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how much funding from the public purse has been allocated to support the development of (a) quantum computing (b) 5G technologies, (c) cyber security and (d) artificial intelligence in the (i) 2018-19, (ii) 2019-20 and (iii) 2020-21 financial years.

Quantum computing; 5G technologies and artificial intelligence are all areas which offer significant economic opportunities to the UK, as well as risks to our national cyber security that need to be managed.

Our development of Quantum Computing is funded by combined public and private investment through the UK’s ten year National Quantum Technologies Programme (NQTP).

Our current National Cyber Security Strategy (2016-2021) is delivering transformational change, building new capabilities and intervening to address the cyber threat. It is supported by £1.9bn investment designed to transform our resilience and continue to build our position as an innovative and expert world leader in cyber security.

The government's Sector Deal for AI launched in April 2018 and outlined a package of support for the sector.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
27th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether it is the Government's policy that ministers do not appear on the Radio 4 Today programme.

This Government is committed to being open in their dealings with the press and to the principles of media freedom.

Ministers from across Government have appeared on and been interviewed by a wide range of media on a daily basis and have spent time speaking directly to the British public in other ways.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
27th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the Government provides guidance to Government ministers on criteria for determining whether to accept invitations for media appearances.

This Government is committed to being open in their dealings with the press and to the principles of media freedom.

Ministers from across Government have appeared on and been interviewed by a wide range of media on a daily basis and have spent time speaking directly to the British public in other ways.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how much funding will be allocated to the Verify Government digital identity scheme for the 2020-21 financial year.

There are no changes to the commercial agreements of levels of service with UK Government digital identity providers as a result of the UK leaving the EU.

The Government’s response to the digital identity consultation (Call for Evidence) will be published in due course.

Verify is delivered with private sector providers and next steps will be announced in the usual manner.

An extensive response to the PAC report was published in October 2019 and can be found at CP 176 – Treasury Minutes Government response to the Committee of Public Accounts.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking in response to the withdrawal of identity providers from the Government’s Verify scheme in April 2020.

There are no changes to the commercial agreements of levels of service with UK Government digital identity providers as a result of the UK leaving the EU.

The Government’s response to the digital identity consultation (Call for Evidence) will be published in due course.

Verify is delivered with private sector providers and next steps will be announced in the usual manner.

An extensive response to the PAC report was published in October 2019 and can be found at CP 176 – Treasury Minutes Government response to the Committee of Public Accounts.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, when he plans to publish the findings of the digital identity consultation, which closed on 15 September 2019.

There are no changes to the commercial agreements of levels of service with UK Government digital identity providers as a result of the UK leaving the EU.

The Government’s response to the digital identity consultation (Call for Evidence) will be published in due course.

Verify is delivered with private sector providers and next steps will be announced in the usual manner.

An extensive response to the PAC report was published in October 2019 and can be found at CP 176 – Treasury Minutes Government response to the Committee of Public Accounts.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the UK leaving the EU on UK Government digital identity providers located in EU member states.

There are no changes to the commercial agreements of levels of service with UK Government digital identity providers as a result of the UK leaving the EU.

The Government’s response to the digital identity consultation (Call for Evidence) will be published in due course.

Verify is delivered with private sector providers and next steps will be announced in the usual manner.

An extensive response to the PAC report was published in October 2019 and can be found at CP 176 – Treasury Minutes Government response to the Committee of Public Accounts.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps his Department has taken in response to the conclusions of the National Audit Office report entitled Investigation into Verify published on 5 March 2019, HC 1926.

There are no changes to the commercial agreements of levels of service with UK Government digital identity providers as a result of the UK leaving the EU.

The Government’s response to the digital identity consultation (Call for Evidence) will be published in due course.

Verify is delivered with private sector providers and next steps will be announced in the usual manner.

An extensive response to the PAC report was published in October 2019 and can be found at CP 176 – Treasury Minutes Government response to the Committee of Public Accounts.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many representations (a) his Department and (b) the Prime Minister’s Office has received from Huawei since 1 January 2019.

Details of Ministers’ meetings with external organisations are published quarterly on GOV.UK.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
31st Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether EU citizens will be able to vote in local elections in 2020.

I refer the Hon. member to the answer which I gave to PQ 1802 on 29 January 2020.

There are no local elections scheduled to take place in Northern Ireland in 2020.

The Scottish Parliament is responsible for the franchise for local elections in Scotland and elections to the Scottish Parliament.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 8 November 2021 to Question 68262 on Future Fund, what the criteria were for converting Future Fund loans into equity shares; and what conditions were associated with those equity shares.

The Future Fund issued loans under a Convertible Loan Agreement (CLA) on standard terms. This is a public document, available on the British Business Bank’s website. Section 5(a) of the CLA sets out the criteria for conversion, which occurs automatically three years after the date of the CLA or earlier in the event of a sale of the company or a funding round. The CLA also defines the conditions associated with the equity shares, which depend on the event that triggered the conversion.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many small businesses awarded loans from the Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan Scheme were in arrears with re-payments in (a) England and (b) North East England as of 25 November 2021.

The latest available data from the British Business Bank (BBB) is available here: https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/covid-19-emergency-loan-schemes-repayment-data/.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and industrial Strategy, how many small businesses awarded loans from the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme are in arrears with re-payments in (a) England and (b) North East England.

The latest available data from the British Business Bank (BBB) is available here: https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/covid-19-emergency-loan-schemes-repayment-data/.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 8 November 2021 to Question 68262 on Future Fund, what assessment he has made of the difference in the level of conversions in the North East compared to London and the South East.

Analysis is underway, and no reliable conclusions can be drawn from the analysis so far.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many small businesses (a) applied and (b) were awarded loans from the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme in (i) England and (ii) North East England.

Across the UK, 251,342 applications for a CBIL were made; 109,877 were successful. As of our final evaluation of July 2021, 87,809 Coronavirus Business Interruption loans (CBIL) have been offered in England, to the value of £23.03bn. 919 loans were offered to the companies in the North East of England to the value of £694,592,700.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when his Department plans to publish the final report on the innovation loans pilot programme; and with reference to the press release of 21 November 2021, what criteria were used to assess that programme.

The Follow-On Interim Evaluation of the Pilot Innovation Loans Programme will be published shortly.

The pilot programme’s interim evaluation has focused on:

1. What is the interest in, and demand for, Innovation Loans?

2. What is the nature of the businesses applying, and the projects which form the focus of the applications for funding?

3. What would have happened to the innovation projects supported if they had not been offered these loans?

4. How effective are the processes of implementation and what are the experiences of the customer journey?

5. What evidence is there of progress towards the achievement of intended outputs, outcomes, and impacts?

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the National Science and Technology Council's letter to the Prime Minister dated 23 September 2021, what steps his Department is taking to tackle the £100 million funding gap for the Future Fund: Breakthrough programme and Life Sciences Investment Programme as identified in that letter.

Future Fund: Breakthrough is a £375 million, UK-wide programme that invests alongside private investors to increase the size of later-stage funding rounds. On 17 November 2021, British Patient Capital announced the first investment under this programme, as part of a £60 million Series D funding round for Bristol-based company Ultraleap. There is no upper limit for round size and hence future investments may be in rounds above the £100 million threshold identified by the Council for Science and Technology.

The Life Sciences Investment Programme is a £200 million government commitment, aiming to attract at least £600 million of investment in total to be deployed within 10-15 years. It is a targeted, sectoral intervention to address the sector-specific funding gap faced by growth-stage life sciences companies in the UK. The programme will invest in funds rather than individual companies, with the aim of enabling the emergence and development of specialist UK-based fund managers.

Both Future Fund: Breakthrough and the Life Sciences Investment Programme are administered by British Patient Capital, a commercial subsidiary of the government-owned British Business Bank.

In addition to these specific programmes, the Government is considering the analysis and recommendations made by the Council for Science and Technology and is engaging with institutional investors to explore the scope for an increased allocation of investment capital to research-intensive UK companies, particularly for scale-up investments over £100 million. This builds on the actions set out in the Government’s Innovation Strategy, published in July, to support access to scale-up finance for innovative science and technology companies.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what information his Department holds on the funding granted through Innovation Loans on average (a) nationally, (b) in Greater London and (c) in the North East since 2017; and what assessment his Department has made of the regional distribution of Innovation Loan agreements.

All Innovate UK grants and loans are made public via (Innovate UK funded projects since 2004 – UKRI ). Transparency data also includes the location and region that the company is registered in.

Funding decisions by UK Research and Innovation are based on the quality of applications and value for money to the taxpayer.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many applications for the Future Fund were (a) successful and (b) unsuccessful in each region of the UK, and what steps his Department has taken to help ensure equal distribution of funding across the UK.

A total of 1,190 Future Fund applications were successfully completed. The number of Convertible Loan Agreements (CLAs) issued in each region of the UK is provided in the table below. A total of 655 applications for the Future Fund were unsuccessful. A regional breakdown of these applications is not available as the information has not been verified.

The location of Future Fund applicants broadly reflects the distribution of equity investment across the UK. The British Business Bank addresses regional disparities in access to finance through its regional investment funds and the Regional Angels Programme, both of which were extended at the recent Spending Review.

Region

CLAs issued

East Midlands

21

East of England

90

London

649

North East

30

Northern Ireland

13

North West

84

Scotland

23

South East

134

South West

43

Wales

25

West Midlands

30

Yorkshire and the Humber

32

Other

16

Total

1,190

Note: The ‘Other’ category includes companies based in the Channel Islands and companies that participated in an accelerator programme that mandated incorporation of the ultimate parent company in a non-UK jurisdiction.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 8 November 2021 to Question 68262 on Future Fund, what assessment he has made of the regional differences in the (a) per head value of funding from the Future Fund and (b) proportion of companies which had their loans converted into an equity stake; and if he will make a statement.

The distribution of convertible loans made by the Future Fund broadly follows the pattern of equity investment across the UK. The British Business Bank’s 2020/21 Small Business Finance Markets report showed that companies outside London received 44% of equity investment by value in 2020. In the case of the Future Fund, 41% of loans by value were advanced to companies based outside London. As a rules-based scheme, the Future Fund was not set up to address disparities in equity finance across regions. All valid applications were approved, regardless of the location of the company.

Of the 158 companies converted as of 31 August 2021, 68 (43%) were based outside London. No reliable conclusions can be drawn from the small number of conversions that have taken place so far.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to (a) increase overall R&D intensity, (b) meet the R&D spending target of £22 billion per year by 2026-27 and (c) obtain private investment to contribute to the target of 2.4 per cent of GDP spent on R&D by 2027.

The government is providing the fastest ever sustained uplift in R&D funding, reaching £20bn per annum by the end of the SR period – £5bn more than 2021/22.

The significant rise in public R&D spending to £20bn by 2024/25, with a clear commitment to £22bn by 2026/27, provides a firm foundation for us to reach the target, but we cannot achieve it alone: it is only by working with innovative businesses and funders from the private sector that we will reach 2.4%. The government is doing its bit to reach the target, with record levels of public sector investment and a generous R&D tax credits scheme. Total government support for R&D (expenditure and R&D tax credits) is forecast to rise from 0.7% of GDP in 2018 to 1.1% in 2024-25, which is well above the latest OECD average of 0.7%.

We have set out our approach to attract increased private investment, for example in the R&D Roadmap last year and in the Innovation Strategy this year.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the press release of 27 January 2020, if he will publish details of (a) the actual expenditure of the £300 million investment in mathematical sciences as of 9 November 2021 and (b) his (i) plans for how the remaining funds will be spent and (ii) timetable for that expenditure.

The UK is a world leader in Mathematics. British mathematicians publish a large volume of highly regarded work. When compared to international colleagues, British mathematicians have the 5th largest share of publications in the world. When looking at the top 1% of most cited publications, UK mathematicians are responsible for the third largest share.

Between Financial Year 2015-2016 and September 2021, EPSRC committed £259.9m to research grants Mathematical Sciences. This includes commitment from the Additional Funding Programme. At this current time, EPSRC are unable to make a direct comparison to international averages.

Following the Government’s announcement in January 2020 to invest additional funding into Mathematical Sciences, UKRI has awarded around £104 million of additional funding to the discipline, over and above EPSRC’s core Mathematical Sciences Theme budget. The additional funding has covered institutes, small and large research grants, fellowships, doctoral studentships and postdoctoral awards.

On the 27 October 2021, the Government announced the outcome of the Comprehensive Spending Review. BEIS and UKRI will now set out how we meet the commitment to invest additional funding into Mathematical sciences in forthcoming years, as part of the allocations process.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the amount that the Government has spent on mathematical sciences at higher education institutions in the UK over the last five years; and what comparative assessment he has made between that figure and the G20 average.

The UK is a world leader in Mathematics. British mathematicians publish a large volume of highly regarded work. When compared to international colleagues, British mathematicians have the 5th largest share of publications in the world. When looking at the top 1% of most cited publications, UK mathematicians are responsible for the third largest share.

Between Financial Year 2015-2016 and September 2021, EPSRC committed £259.9m to research grants Mathematical Sciences. This includes commitment from the Additional Funding Programme.

At this current time, EPSRC are unable to make a direct comparison to international averages.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions officials in his Department have had with Ofgem on the balance of reactive power in the UK’s electricity grid (a) as of 9 November 2021 and (b) in the future.

Managing reactive power services is the responsibility of National Grid Electricity System Operator (NGESO). NGESO instructs generators or other asset owners to either absorb or generate reactive power.

NGESO periodically updates BEIS and Ofgem on this as part of our regular schedule of engagement to understand electricity system operability matters.

NGESO will publish its annual Operability Strategy Report by the end of the year, which considers system needs such as reactive power and how these needs will be met in the future.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
4th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether postmasters subject to civil proceedings in respect of the Post Office Horizon scandal are entitled to compensation under the Government's Post Office scheme, announced on 22 July 2021.

The Government is keen to see that all postmasters whose Horizon convictions are overturned are fairly compensated as quickly as possible. On 22 July Government announced that it would be providing funding for Post Office to make interim payments of up to £100k to eligible postmasters who were subject to criminal proceedings linked to the Post Office Horizon IT system and whose Horizon convictions have subsequently been quashed. Only postmasters who have been subject to such proceedings are therefore eligible for these compensation payments.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much investment support was allocated via the Future Fund to businesses in (a) London and the South East, (b) the North East and (c) the UK; and how many businesses in each region who received support via the Future Fund had their loans converted into equity stakes.

The requested information is provided in the table below:

Location

Value of investment (£ millions)

Number of companies

Number of conversions

London and the South East

774

780

114

The North East

27

30

2

The United Kingdom

1,137

1,190

173

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has made an assessment of the potential effect on (a) private investment and (b) the Government's ambition to be a world leader in science investment of extending the target of spending £22 billion per year on research and development from 2024 to 2026-7.

The Government is providing the fastest ever sustained uplift in R&D funding, reaching £20bn per annum by the end of the SR period – £5bn more than 2021/22. We remain committed to the target of UK economy-wide R&D investment reaching 2.4% of GDP by 2027. The UK already has world-class science and research and is ranked as one of the most innovative countries in the world.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will ensure that the UK Shared Prosperity Fund includes a research and innovation focus.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) will help people access opportunity in places in need, such as ex-industrial areas, deprived towns and rural and coastal communities, and for people in disadvantaged groups across the UK.

Further details on the UKSPF will be published in due course.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for the Home Department on financial barriers preventing talented researchers from relocating to the UK.

The record level of investment announced for the UK research base at the Spending Review lays the strong foundation to realise our ambition to make the UK the most exciting place in the world for top research and innovation talent.

In July, the Government published the R&D People and Culture Strategy, which sets out our actions to attract, retain and develop talented people, making sure R&D careers in the UK are appealing to talented individuals and teams both domestically and internationally. This includes reviewing restrictions and costs and developing our understanding of the impact of the cost of moving to the UK on researchers, their teams and their families.

In line with the strategy, we are working with the Home Office to drive reforms to improve high skilled migration routes for innovators, entrepreneurs and top talent and we are working with the Office for Talent to launch an online service to attract highly skilled, international talent.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to (a) increase the domestic workforce of STEM professionals and (b) maintain the UK as an attractive destination to overseas researchers.

The record level of investment announced for the UK research base at the Spending Review lays the strong foundation to realise our ambition to make the UK the most exciting place in the world for top research and innovation talent.

In July, the Government published the R&D People and Culture Strategy, which sets out our actions to attract, retain and develop talented people, making sure R&D careers in the UK are appealing to talented individuals and teams both domestically and internationally.

In line with the strategy, we are working with the Home Office to drive reforms to improve high skilled migration routes for innovators, entrepreneurs and top talent and we are working with the Office for Talent to launch an online service to attract highly skilled, international talent. The strategy recognises the need to identify skills gaps, anticipate future needs, and ensure we have the workforce the UK needs, and commits to action to support STEM education and careers.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 1 November 2021 to Question 64603, where the funding for the National Productivity Investment Fund comes from; and whether expenditure on the Advanced Research & Invention Agency is included in the £20 Billion Capital DEL expenditure total for 2024-25 in Table 2.2 of the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021 Red Book.

The budget for the Advanced Research & Invention Agency is included in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy R&D budget set out in Table 2.2 of the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021 Red Book. For the 2024-25 budget, this is included in the £20bn.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to (a) improve the domestic workforce of STEM professionals and (b) maintain the UK as an attractive destination to overseas researchers; and what recent discussions he has had with the Home Secretary on the financial barriers preventing talented researchers from relocating to the UK.

The record level of investment announced for the UK research base at the Spending Review lays the strong foundation to realise our ambition to make the UK the most exciting place in the world for top research and innovation talent.

In July, the Government published the R&D People and Culture Strategy, which sets out our actions to attract, retain and develop talented people, making sure R&D careers in the UK are appealing to talented individuals and teams both domestically and internationally. It recognises the need to identify skills gaps, anticipate future needs, and ensure we have the workforce the UK needs, and commits to action to support STEM education and careers.

In line with the strategy, we are working with the Home Office to drive reforms to improve high skilled migration routes for innovators, entrepreneurs and top talent, and we are working with the Office for Talent to launch an online service to attract highly skilled, international talent.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to paragraph 4.74 of the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021 Red Book, what steps the Global Britain Investment fund will take to ensure that economic opportunities are spread more evenly across the UK.

The Global Britain Investment Fund (GBIF) will provide grants to encourage internationally mobile companies to invest in the UK’s critical and most innovative industries, where the UK has natural strengths and geographic spread. For example, the GBIF will cover the automotive sector, which has key regional clusters in the West Midlands, North West, and North East, as well as the life sciences sector, which currently has two thirds of jobs already located outside of London and the South East. Also included is the offshore wind sector, which is attracting significant new investment to our coastal communities, including floating offshore wind in Scotland and Wales.

Lee Rowley
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to Table 2.2 of the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021 Red Book, whether funding for (a) the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, (b) Help to Grow, (c) Future Fund: Breakthrough and (d) the National Productivity Investment Fund will come from Core Research, Innovate UK or another expenditure line.

Table 2.2 of the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021 Red Book relates to departmental R&D budgets.

Funding for the Advanced Research & Invention Agency is R&D spend and has its own ringfence, so does not come from either the Core Research or Innovate UK ringfences listed in table 2.2.

Funding for Help to Grow, and the Future Fund: Breakthrough is not R&D spend and they will be funded from the Programme and Financial Transactions Capital budget respectively.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much of his Department's Capital DEL was spending on (a) Core Research, (b) Innovate UK, (c) EU Programmes Association, (d) the Department for Health and Social Care and (e) other in each of the last five years; and what the Resource DEL out run was in those periods.

We understand this question to be based on the Table 2.2 of the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021 Red Book which refers to overall Government R&D expenditure. In which case only a) Core Research, b) Innovate UK and c) EU Programme Association are relevant to BEIS.

The Core Research ringfence was only established by HM Treasury at the 2020 Spending Review. As a result we do not have an exact historical comparison over the last five years, but the majority of this funding is made up of UKRI Council funding. UKRI publishes details of its expenditure by Council, including Innovate UK, in its Annual Report and Accounts, which can be found in the House of Commons Library.

BEIS has allocated £1.3billion to fund EU programmes in 2021/22. Previously this was funded directly by HMT as part of our membership of the European Union

The Resource DEL outturn for all BEIS spend over the last five years was as follows;

£(m)

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

2018-19

2019-20

2020-21

Non-ringfenced

2,224,853

1,606,596

1,447,538

934,592

2,506,905

25,989,881

Ringfenced

268,978

355,397

266,467

310,652

331,470

275,918

Total

2,493,831

1,961,993

1,714,005

1,245,244

2,838,375

26,265,799

Please note that 2020/21 figures have yet to be signed off by the annual audit process and may be subject to change

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021, para 4.74, whether the £1.4 billion announced for the Global Britain Investment Fund is from the (a) core research, (b) Innovation UK or (c) other Capital DEL funding stream.

The Global Britain Investment Fund will be funded from a variety of sources, but funding will not come from either the Core Research or Innovate UK ringfences.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department has had discussions with Herbert Smith Freehills LLP solicitors acting for the Post Office (a) prior to and (b) since the opening of the Post Office Interim Payment Scheme, on the fairness of the criteria which determines the outcome of applications for compensation; and what information his Department holds on complaints by formerly convicted postmasters about the professional conduct of that company.

Officials from BEIS and UKGI meet regularly with Post Office and their legal representatives to discuss Horizon related issues. These discussions have included issues related to interim compensation payments.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for International Trade on supporting the semiconductor industry to export.

The policy lead for the semiconductor sector rests with my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Lee Rowley
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the procurement process is for digital technology in the Help To Grow Digital programme; how the suppliers of that technology were selected; and what the price paid for the technology is relative to the market value.

Software vendors need to apply to be part of the Help to Grow Digital Scheme. The vendor eligibility criteria for wave 1 was published on 29 July and is available at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/help-to-grow-digital-apply-to-become-a-vendor. The eligibility criteria is designed to ensure that small and medium businesses benefit from high-quality products. Eligible vendors must match the best market price available for their software and offer the same incentives such as trial periods and temporary discounts.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he has taken to prevent price gouging by online bot activity which circumvents maximum purchase quantities for computers and games consoles, to then resell those products above the recommended retail price.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answers given by my Hon. Friend the Minister of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to the Hon. Member for Dunfermline and West Fife on 22 December 2020 to Question 129026 and on 27 January 2021 to Question 144646.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many applications have been received for the Post Office Interim Payment Scheme; how many applications have been awarded compensation under that scheme; how many applications for that scheme have been declined; and what discussions his Department has had with Herbert Smith Freehills on the definition of (a) viable claims and (b) hardship when assessing applications for that scheme.

The Post Office has received 57 applications for interim payments. Post Office has made offers in 52 cases and made 43 payments so far. Other claims are progressing. Payments made to date have all been for maximum amount of £100,000. There have been 3 cases where interim payments were declined. Applications for interim payments are considered on a case-by-case basis. Individuals can pursue claims should they wish irrespective of whether or not they receive an interim payment.

Officials from BEIS and UKGI meet regularly with Post Office and their legal representatives to discuss Horizon related issues. These discussions have included issues related to interim compensation payments. The application form for interim compensation payment allows postmasters to provide details to Post Office of any issues, which may include hardship, that they consider Post Office should take into account when assessing an application.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to reports that Google delayed correcting a known disparity in pay between temporary and permeant staff, if his Department will investigate (a) Google's employment practices and (b) whether that company has been fully compliant with requirements of employment legislation in the last five years.

An agency worker can qualify for equal treatment after working for 12 weeks in the same role with the same hirer. From April 2020 the Government banned the use of “Swedish Derogation” contracts. This ensures that agency workers cannot be pressured to opt out of their right to equal pay with permanent counterparts after the twelve-week qualifying period in the same role with the same hirer. While I cannot comment on individual cases, if somebody believes these requirements have not been met then it is open to them to seek redress through the Employment Tribunals system.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many consumers are affected by the exit of Green energy company from the energy market; and how long their existing (a) tariffs and (b) renewables mix will be maintained.

Ofgem estimate that 255,000 domestic customers and a small number of non-domestic customers are affected by Green Energy Company exiting the retail energy market. Ofgem runs the Supplier of Last Resort process with the aim of getting the best deal for consumers.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with (a) the employees of the energy company Green and (b) Ofgem on training and redeployment for the employees of Green following the company's exit from the energy market.

BEIS Ministers have not met with Green Energy Company employees. Energy suppliers have a duty to inform both Ofgem and their employees before exiting the market. Government help and support, including training and finding new employment is delivered by the Job Centre Plus Rapid Response Service and is available to all employees affected by energy suppliers exiting the market. For more information on government support visit the gov.uk website at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/redundancy-help-finding-work-and-claiming-benefits.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he had with representatives of Green, the energy supplier, on its exit from the energy market; and whether he took steps to prevent that exit.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State and I held a roundtable on 21 September 2021 with smaller and challenger energy suppliers, including Green Energy Company. It is Ofgem, the independent regulator responsibility to engage with suppliers considering exiting the market.

In a competitive market, it is normal from time to time for energy suppliers who cannot finance their activities to exit the retail energy market.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to his oral statement of 20 September 2021 on UK Gas Market, which energy companies were present at the meeting he held with energy companies on the impact of wholesale energy price rises; how many of those companies were small energy companies; and what steps he is taking to support small energy companies to manage the impact of wholesale energy price rises.

On 20 September 2021 a roundtable was held with leading energy suppliers and consumer groups to hear about the challenges they currently face, and on 21 September a roundtable was held with smaller and challenger energy suppliers.

The Government wants to see a diverse energy market with many smaller and challenger energy suppliers bringing an improvement to customers. The biggest danger to a diverse market is the threat of renationalisation which would raise prices and damage investment.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with the Green Energy Company on the impact of wholesale energy prices on its (a) consumers and (b) employees; and what financial support he plans to offer to that company.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State and I held a roundtable on 21 September 2021 with smaller and challenger energy suppliers, including Green Energy Company.

In the coming days, the Government will set out the next steps for protecting consumers, businesses and energy suppliers from these global price rises.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 6 September 2021 to Question 38259 on Taxation: Import Duties, what recent assessment he has made of the range and prevalence of disbursement charges by delivery companies paying import duties liable on imported purchases; and what steps the Government is taking to support consumer choice in paying those charges.

Where international traders trade in or target their activities at the UK, they are generally subject to UK consumer protection law and consumers are able to rely on a strong set of consumer rights. The UK Government does not hold information on the commercial arrangements of international couriers or international retailers. The Government is seeking to enhance global cooperation on consumer protection, through our trade policy and the Competition and Markets Authority’s work in international fora.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 13 September 2021 to Question 45119 on Courier Services: Fees and Charges, what evidence he has that (a) disbursement charges paid by the customer to delivery companies that are paying import taxes are agreed with retailers and (b) disbursement charges are included in international retailers pricing information; and what steps he is taking to help ensure that international retailers are subject to UK consumer legislation.

Where international traders trade in or target their activities at the UK, they are generally subject to UK consumer protection law and consumers are able to rely on a strong set of consumer rights. The UK Government does not hold information on the commercial arrangements of international couriers or international retailers. The Government is seeking to enhance global cooperation on consumer protection, through our trade policy and the Competition and Markets Authority’s work in international fora.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has for Oneweb to provide the UK’s own sovereign satellite navigation system; and what assessment he has made of the adequacy of a low-earth orbit system to provide satellite navigation services.

The Government’s investment was not predicated on OneWeb’s ability to provide PNT services. Future generations of OneWeb satellites may have the ability to enhance the resilience of a sovereign UK PNT system, together with terrestrial options.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to maximise the awareness of the Made Smarter Adoption North East scheme among SMEs in the manufacturing sector; and what progress he has made on establishing the criteria for assessing the effectiveness of that scheme.

The North East Local Enterprise Partnership and Tees Valley Combined Authority are jointly working to promote the scheme via local press, social media, e-newsletters, their websites, and targeted campaigns. The Made Smarter Adoption model is being independently evaluated through the Made Smarter North West Pilot, which ran from 2019 to 2021.

Lee Rowley
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions his Department has had with the (a) Equality and Human Rights Commission and (b) Information Commissioner’s Office on the publications of the CMA’s report, Algorithms: How they can reduce competitions and harm consumers, published in January 2021.

The Department is in regular communication with the Information Commissioner’s Office and other interested parties on matters relating to competition. We are currently consulting on the design of a new digital competition regime including new powers for the CMA to tackle problems in digital markets. BEIS is working with DCMS, ICO and others to ensure coherence across the work of different regulators.

The CMA is independent from Government and so BEIS did not contribute to the specific report on ‘Algorithms: How they can reduce competitions and harm consumers’.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the value for money for the taxpayer in the Help To Grow Digital programme; and what steps he has taken to help ensure that the suppliers of the technology selected are offering the best value for money.

The Department has assessed the benefits of SMEs increased adoption of technology, including evidence set out in the HMG Business Productivity Review, that strongly suggests that the productivity gains of technology adoption are likely to be significant. As such, I believe the scheme will provide a high degree of value for money and we will carry out robust monitoring and evaluation work to ensure this.

Software vendors need to apply to be approved onto the Help to Grow Scheme, which includes eligibility criteria designed to ensure that SMEs benefit from high-quality products. Approved vendors will need to provide SMEs with a clear pricing structure that is consistent between their advertised price and Help to Grow: Digital price and will need offer the same level of discounts or trial period and other incentives to SMEs as advertised to its other customers.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much funding will be allocated to the Made Smarter Adoption North East scheme; and how many (a) small and (b) medium sized businesses that scheme will support.

BEIS is making £0.6m of funding available for Made Smarter Adoption support for SME manufacturers into the North East which will play a crucial role in delivering key BEIS and Government objectives.

This funding will support recovery and resilience following Covid-19; create long term growth for manufacturers by driving productivity and competitiveness and encourage more firms to get on the road to innovation; support levelling up across the North East and help drive down carbon emissions from manufacturing sectors.

The £0.6m funding will enable around 100 manufacturing SMEs in this region to gain increased awareness of industrial digitalisation with 88 in the region being able to access intensive advice. This is projected to generate a net GVA increase of £3.1m and in turn generate a discounted Net Social Benefit (NSB) of £1.9m. There will not be separate ring-fenced funding allocations for (a) small and (b) medium sized firms.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to help protect the income of postmasters under the pay structure of the new Mails Distribution Agreement, due to come into effect on 1 April 2022.

Helping to protect the income of Postmasters is important to the department and we welcome the improvements outlined in the Mails Distribution Agreement (MDA).

The improvements will mean that whenever Royal Mail put up customer prices, Postmasters will see the benefit – with interim tariff payments for price increases earlier this year already being paid to Postmasters.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the benefits to business of the digital technology provided in the Help to Grow Digital programme; and what steps his Department is taking to communicate those benefits to business groups.

The Department has considered research, including the Government’s Business Productivity Review and from the Enterprise Research Centre and Office for National Statistics, which shows that technology adoption is strongly linked with significant productivity growth.

Dedicated communications and marketing activity to promote the Help to Grow Digital scheme and the benefits of technology adoption will commence when the scheme launches in Autumn 2021.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much funding has been disbursed under the Help to Grow scheme to date; and how much will be disbursed in total.

Help to Grow: Digital will launch in Autumn 2021 and therefore has not disbursed any funds to date. It is expected to disburse £296 million over three years up to 2024/25.

Help to Grow: Management delivered its first course on 5 July. The total cost of the programme is £220 million up to 2024/25. Approximately £62 million of this funding is expected to be disbursed in 2021/22.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many (a) small and (b) medium sized businesses will be helped by the Help to Grow scheme.

Over the next three years, Help to Grow: Digital will support up to 100,000 small and medium-sized businesses with online advice and a voucher to help meet software costs.

Help to Grow: Management will support up to 30,000 small and medium-sized businesses leaders from across the UK to increase productivity, seize investment opportunities and grow their business.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the marketing costs are for the Help to Grow scheme; and from what budget those costs have been met.

Help to Grow: Digital has a budget of £296 million over the three years of the scheme.

Help to Grow: Management has a budget of £220 million over the next three years.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what criteria he plans to use to assess the effectiveness of the Help to Grow scheme; and whether those criteria include regional targets.

The effectiveness of both Help to Grow programmes will be assessed on the productivity benefits gained by SMEs, and early indicators of success based on criteria such as successful tech adoption and increased use of management practices within their business. Data on the geographical spread of participating SMEs, and their outcomes, will be part of the monitoring and evaluation.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the application of consumer protection regulations to couriers' disbursement fees; and what discussions he has had with representatives of the CMA on the level of disbursement fees charged by couriers to recipients of packages.

Delivery charges are agreed between the retailer and the delivery/courier company. These are commercial decisions. We already have robust consumer legislation in place to ensure that when making a purchase online, retailers provide clear and upfront information about delivery charges and restrictions before the consumer makes a purchase. Breaches of the legislation should be reported in the first instance to the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133, or https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether (a) Nexperia and (b) Wingtech has engaged with the Government on a voluntary basis on whether their purchase of Newport Wafer Fab would fall within the scope of the National Security and Investment Bill.

The Government does not comment on the detail of commercial transactions.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the £375 million budget of the Future Fund: Breakthrough counts towards the Government’s target of investing 2.4 per cent of GDP on research and development; what estimate he has made of the proportion of that Fund that will be invested in life science businesses; and if he will set a target for investment in that sector.

Future Fund: Breakthrough will encourage private investors to co-invest with government in high-growth, innovative firms.

The fund will provide equity funding to innovative, R&D-intensive UK companies operating in breakthrough technology sectors, including life sciences. The process of securing Future Fund: Breakthrough funding is demand-led: lead investors must apply to the Fund on behalf of the company seeking investment. There are no ringfences for particular sectors.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish a long-term Research and Development funding plan setting out how the Government will meet its commitment of spending £22 billion per year by 2024; and what steps his Department is taking to support science organisations as part of that plan.

Last year, we published our ambitious Research and Development Roadmap, setting out our long-term vision for the R&D system, including cutting unnecessary bureaucracy, embracing diversity in the R&D workforce, levelling up across the UK, embracing innovation, and boosting international collaboration.

This year we are investing £14.9 billion in research and development in 2021/22 across government, putting UK Government R&D spending at its highest level in four decades.

The next Spending Review will set out plans for future R&D funding. Our investment in R&D will support our Roadmap commitments and helps consolidate our position as a science superpower, as we build towards increasing public expenditure on R&D to £22bn and delivering on our target to increase total UK R&D investment to 2.4% of GDP by 2027.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 15 July 2021 to Question 31400 on Monopolies, what assessment (a) his Department and (b) the Competition and Markets Authority has made of (i) the level of competition in the Premier League and (ii) the barriers to entry for new owners of football clubs.

An Independent Fan Led Review of Football Governance chaired by my Hon. Friend the Member for Chatham and Aylesford (Tracey Crouch MP) is underway with its work. It is a root-and-branch examination of football in this country, looking at the financial sustainability of the football pyramid, governance regulations, and the merits of an independent regulator. It will also consider the current Owners’ and Directors’ test, and the transparency and accountability of that process.

Responsibility for investigating individual and market-wide competition issues falls to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the UK’s competition authority. As an independent authority, it is for the CMA to decide which cases to investigate, which it does according to its prioritisation principles. The CMA may also carry out detailed examinations of why particular markets may not be working well and take remedial action to address features of markets which restrict competition. It is for the CMA to determine the information to be published regarding the discharge of its regulatory functions.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of staff being told to self-isolate after the easing of covid-19 restrictions on 19 July 2021 on businesses in Newcastle upon Tyne Central constituency where infection rates are higher than national average.

On Monday 5 July, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister set out the details of the final stage of the roadmap and our approach for managing Covid as we learn to live with the virus. The ‘Working Safely’ guidance was updated on 14 July in advance of moving to step 4. Isolation remains the most important action people can take to stop the spread of the virus. It is crucial people isolate immediately when they are told to do so. Businesses should be supporting employees to self-isolate.

From 16 August, those who are fully vaccinated will no longer be required to self-isolate if they are a close contact of a positive case. Instead, they will be advised to take a PCR test. Until these changes come into effect, it is essential that everyone continues to observe the rules to protect those who are not yet fully vaccinated or are clinically vulnerable. Anyone who tests positive will still need to self-isolate regardless of their vaccination status.

In order to protect the delivery of public services, a very limited number of named critical workers will be informed that they are considered to have reasonable excuse to leave self-isolation if they are contacts. This will only apply to workers who are fully vaccinated (someone who is 14 days post-second dose) and is solely for the purpose of going to work.

This is a small and targeted intervention, enabling individuals to attend work where not doing so would lead to major detrimental impact on the availability, integrity or delivery of essential services – including services whose integrity, if compromised, could result in significant loss of life or casualties, and/or attend work where not doing so would result in significant impact on national security, defence, or the functioning of the state.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the total amount received from the (a) Bounce Back Loan Scheme and (b) Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme has been in Newcastle upon Tyne Central, broken down by (i) loan type and (ii) constituency average.

The analysis of final Coronavirus loan scheme data was published on July 6, 2021 on the British Business Bank website.[1]

Under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, 136 loans were delivered in the Newcastle upon Tyne Central constituency, to the sum of £47,292,585. The average value of loan was £347,739.59.

Under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, 2,635 loans were delivered in the Newcastle upon Tyne Central constituency to the sum of £81,819,93. The average value of loan was £3,105.12.

[1] https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/analysis-of-final-coronavirus-loan-scheme-data-shows-79-3bn-of-loans-to-1-67m-businesses-evenly-distributed-across-whole-of-the-uk/

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 15 July 2021 to Question 31400 on Monopolies, what assessment the Competition and Markets Authority has made of the Premier League in respect of fair competition.

An Independent Fan Led Review of Football Governance, chaired by my Hon. Friend the Member for Chatham and Aylesford (Tracey Crouch MP) is underway . It is a root-and-branch examination of football in this country, looking at the financial sustainability of the football pyramid, governance regulations, and the merits of an independent regulator. It will also consider the current Owners’ and Directors’ test, and the transparency and accountability of that process.

Responsibility for investigating individual and market-wide competition issues falls to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the UK’s competition authority. As an independent authority, it is for the CMA to decide which cases to investigate, which it does according to its prioritisation principles. The CMA may also carry out detailed examinations of why particular markets may not be working well and take remedial action to address features of markets which restrict competition. It is for the CMA to determine the information to be published regarding the discharge of its regulatory functions.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the Investment Security Unit has considered the sale of the Newport Wafer Fab.

We are aware of the takeover of Newport Wafer Fab by Nexperia, and the Government has been in close contact with Newport Wafer Fab throughout.

We are unable to comment on the detail of commercial transactions, or of national security assessments. The Government will continue to monitor the situation closely and will not hesitate to take action if needed.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 26 May 2021 to Question 2971 on Energy: Meters, what data is required for regulated purposes, such as accurate billing; and how consumers can monitor and control how that data is shared.

The smart metering Data Access and Privacy Framework protects consumers’ privacy and set outs the levels of access to energy consumption data from smart meters permitted for different parties. The Framework ensures that households have control over who can access their energy consumption data and for what purposes, except where this is required for regulated purposes.

Energy suppliers and networks are permitted under their Licence Conditions to access energy consumption data for narrowly defined regulatory purposes.

Energy suppliers can access data for purposes including billing, meeting a customer request for access to their data, responding to an enquiry or complaint by a customer, and where they have reasonable grounds to suspect and investigate theft.

Energy networks can access granular consumption data to support the safe and efficient management and reinforcement of energy networks, provided they have a consumer’s consent or implement strict data protection procedures approved by Ofgem.

Information must be made available to consumers on which energy consumption data will be accessed and for what purpose.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department has taken to put safeguards in place to ensure transparency and accountability with regard to competition in the Premier League and other monopoly-run sectors.

An Independent Fan Led Review of Football Governance chaired by my Hon. Friend the Member for Chatham and Aylesford is underway with its work. It is a root-and-branch examination of football in this country, looking at the financial sustainability of the football pyramid, governance regulations, and the merits of an independent regulator. It will also consider the current Owners’ and Directors’ test, and the transparency and accountability of that process.

Under competition law, responsibility for investigating individual and market-wide competition issues falls to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the UK’s competition authority. The Government has ensured that the CMA has significant powers and expertise to investigate and take action against businesses that abuse dominant positions in markets, for instance, by unfairly excluding competitors or exploiting consumers. In the regulated sectors, these competition powers are also exercisable by the relevant sector-specific regulators. The CMA may also carry out detailed examinations of why particular markets may not be working well and take remedial action to fix features of markets which restrict competition. Most sector-specific regulators in monopoly sectors have a legal duty to promote competition for the benefit of consumers (or equivalent).

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
23rd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with representatives of UKRI on the progress of the open access policy review and the likelihood of the outcome of that review establishing a permissive policy for researchers.

There has been Ministerial engagement throughout the UKRI open access review.

Ensuring open access policy is as permissive as possible for researchers whilst also achieving public value and affordability, and taking account of the changing landscape in publishing agreements in the UK are all key considerations of the review.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
23rd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he plans to publish the Government’s Net-Zero strategy.

We will publish a comprehensive Net Zero Strategy ahead of COP26, setting out the Government’s vision for transitioning to a net zero economy. This will raise ambition as we outline our path to meet net zero by 2050, our Carbon Budgets and Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
23rd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he plans to publish the Governments five-year space weather strategy.

BEIS is due to publish a new space weather strategy later this year. This will set out a five-year roadmap on the steps we will take to further enhance the UK’s resilience to major space weather events.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
23rd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish a list of the companies that have been in receipt of payments from the (a) Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and (b) Bounce Back Loan Scheme in Newcastle upon Tyne Central constituency to date; and how much was received by each such business.

The Department is unable to provide a detailed breakdown of loan recipients under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) or the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) as this information is commercially sensitive for borrowers.

Details of facilities made available under the schemes have been published where required by the European Commission’s Transparency Aid Module at the following website: https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/competition/transparency/public?lang=en.

However this data will only show the region where the business is located. Further information on data reporting can be found on the British Business Bank’s website: https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-schemes/data-reporting/.

As of 7 June 2021, the total number of loans taken up under the schemes by businesses in Newcastle Upon Tyne Central is as follows:

Scheme

Number of Loans

Value

Median Value

BBLS

2627

£ 81,511,198

£ 30,000

CBILS

135

£ 47,062,585

£ 150,000

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to UK Research and Innovation's (UKRI) Open Access policy review and the impact of the covid-19 outbreak on the research sector, if he will ensure that UKRI provides (a) researchers, (b) institutions and (c) publishers adequate time to implement the outcome of the review.

The UKRI Open Access Review has included a series of consultation stages and analysis. The final policy recommendations are now moving through the final agreement process and the outcomes of the Review will be published as soon as the process is complete. It is anticipated that these will be published this summer.

I recognise the pandemic’s impact on the research sector, and the ability of the research sector to adapt to any new arrangements has been an important consideration throughout the UKRI Open Access Review. I can assure you that this has been taken into account in the formation of the policy and implementation considerations.

For peer-reviewed research articles the proposed policy start date will be 1 April 2022, while the policy for monographs is proposed to start from 1 January 2024. UKRI will work closely with stakeholders in the lead up to the policy start dates to ensure any questions or issues are addressed.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to UK Research and Innovation's (UKRI) Open Access policy review, what progress UKRI has made on reaching the outcome of that review; and when UKRI plans to (a) make decisions in respect of that review and (b) publish the outcome of that review.

The UKRI Open Access Review has included a series of consultation stages and analysis. The final policy recommendations are now moving through the final agreement process and the outcomes of the Review will be published as soon as the process is complete. It is anticipated that these will be published this summer.

I recognise the pandemic’s impact on the research sector, and the ability of the research sector to adapt to any new arrangements has been an important consideration throughout the UKRI Open Access Review. I can assure you that this has been taken into account in the formation of the policy and implementation considerations.

For peer-reviewed research articles the proposed policy start date will be 1 April 2022, while the policy for monographs is proposed to start from 1 January 2024. UKRI will work closely with stakeholders in the lead up to the policy start dates to ensure any questions or issues are addressed.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will ask the Competition and Markets Authority to undertake an assessment of (a) Amazon Prime Day as a potential competitive marketing practice and (b) the extent to which (i) suppliers and (ii) customers can choose whether to participate in that day.

The Competition and Markets Authority is independent of the government, with a remit to tackle individual and market-wide competition issues, including breaches of competition law. The CMA is currently active in digital markets, but we intend to strengthen its ability to tackle digital competition issues. This why the Government committed in November 2020 to establish a new digital competition regime, to be overseen by a Digital Markets Unit within the CMA, to tackle the market power of dominant digital platforms. We will consult on the new regime and legislate to put the Digital Markets Unit on a statutory footing as soon as parliamentary time allows.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the minimum data set is that will be collected from energy consumers who agree to the installation of smart meters; and what steps consumers can take to ensure that additional data is not being collected by energy providers and other bodies.

Smart meters are replacing traditional gas and electricity meters in Great Britain as part of an essential infrastructure upgrade to make the energy system more efficient and flexible, enabling the cost-effective delivery of net zero greenhouse gas emissions.

The Government has put in place a strict Data Access and Privacy Framework that protects consumers’ privacy and set outs the levels of access to energy consumption data from smart meters permitted for different parties. The Framework ensures that households have control over who can access their energy consumption data and for what purposes, except where this is required for regulated purposes (such as accurate billing).

Consumers can also choose to share their data with third parties for example to obtain tailored energy efficiency advice. Where third parties are accessing consumption data via the smart metering network they must have the consumer’s consent which consumers can withdraw at any time. In addition to the specific protections of the Framework, all parties are required to comply with relevant data protection laws when processing personal data.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Answer of 30 March 2021 to Question 173012 on Research: Africa, if he will establish the number of early career researchers across the continent of Africa who will lose funding as a result of changes to the Official Development Assistance allocation to the Future Leaders: African Independent Research programme.

On average, the Royal Society funds 30 new FLAIR fellowships per year through the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). Thirty fellowships were awarded for the 2020 cohort, and these will continue receiving full funding throughout this year. The Royal Society will not be funding any new FLAIR fellowships for this year.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the independent review of the Post Office Horizon scandal will consider the failures in data design of the Horizon system.

The purpose of the Inquiry is to understand and acknowledge what went wrong in relation to Horizon and to ensure that there is a public summary of the failings that occurred at Post Office Ltd. At the Inquiry’s outset its Terms of Reference were published, which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/post-office-horizon-it-inquiry-2020/terms-of-reference.

The Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry’s Terms of Reference state that the Inquiry will only consider the matters set out in its Terms of Reference.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Answer of 25 March 2021 to Question 173011 on Business: Government Assistance, if he will publish the formula that was used to allocate the (a) Local Restrictions Support Grants (Open), (b) Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) and (c) Restart Grants; and what measure of (i) population and (ii) number of businesses was used to allocate each of those grants.

All information relating to how funding allocations for business support grants is contained within guidance that has been issued to local authorities and which is available on GOV.UK. All allocations figures are also available on GOV.UK.

LRSG (Open) allocations to local authorities were based on a government estimate of the number of in-scope business premises. This drew on data provided by the Valuation Office Agency which gave the number of business hereditaments in the local rating lists in the relevant sectors by local authority. Local authorities were asked to use their own understanding of local businesses to determine eligibility. This was a discretionary scheme meaning central government did not mandate which businesses a local authority was required to support.

For the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) scheme, Local Authorities received an initial one-off lump sum payment amounting to £20 per head of residential population in each eligible Local Authority area when Tier 3 or widespread national restrictions in November were imposed, whichever was the earliest date. This calculation was based on ONS 2019 Mid-Year Population Estimate for the total population within a local authority. If an area agreed an enhanced package before National Lockdown, then that negotiated amount was honoured. A subsequent top-up to ARG of £500m in January 2021 was also based on the same calculation.

In March, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a further £425 million top up to ARG would be made available to those local authorities that had spent their initial two allocations. This tranche of ARG will be allocated on the basis of business population in an area, rather than residential numbers and will only be unlocked where expenditure requirements on the first two tranches are met.

The Restart Grants allocations have been made on the basis of an estimate of the number of business hereditaments in the specified sectors covered by the grant scheme. This estimate has been informed by Valuation Office Agency data on business hereditaments in the local rating lists, but local authorities are the decision makers on whether specific businesses are eligible or not. The Government paid 90% of this estimated total to Local Authorities and are committed to provide further top ups if required to cover all businesses in scope.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Answer of 11 March 2021 to Question 164467 on Coronavirus: Vaccination, how much Admiral has been paid to date for communications services; and what the total value is of the contract with Admiral.

The Vaccine Taskforce brought onboard specialist communications support as contingent labour using the Public Sector Resourcing framework, rather than signing a contract with Admiral as a company. This contingent labour ceased involvement with the Vaccine Taskforce at the end of 2020.

Details of commercial arrangements with all firms and contract labour used by the Vaccine Taskforce have been published in line with the usual transparency arrangements.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to support wet pubs to manage (a) business loan repayments and (b) the reintroduction of business rates in 2021.

The Government recognises the impact the pandemic has had on hospitality businesses including wet led pubs. That is why we have provided an unprecedented support package of £352 billion including grants, loans, business rates relief, VAT cuts and the job retention scheme. Pubs are eligible for our restart grants of up to £18,000 to help them recover and reopen.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made with the Chancellor of the Exchequer of the average increase in debt taken on by independent pubs since the start of the covid-19 outbreak; and what steps he is taking to support those independent pubs that have taken on debt in that period.

The Government recognises the impact the pandemic has had on hospitality businesses including independent pubs. That is why we have provided an unprecedented support package of £352 billion including grants, loans, business rates relief, VAT cuts and the job retention scheme. In order to help pubs recover and reopen, we are providing restart grants of up to £18,000.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of the UK's associate membership of the EU's Horizon Europe programme on the UK's inclusion in quantum and space research programmes.

Our association to Horizon will give UK scientists and innovators access to the largest collaborative research funding scheme in the world.

The UK has agreed to participate in the whole of the Horizon Europe programme, except the European Innovation Council Fund.

The work programmes for parts of Horizon Europe have not been finalised by the EU, however under the Horizon Europe regulations, access to calls may be restricted to entities established in EU Member States in certain cases. We expect these cases to be exceptional.

We engage with the Commission on a range of topics relating to Horizon Europe, including supporting research collaboration between the UK and EU, timing of funding opportunities under Horizon Europe and potential exclusions.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions the Government (a) has had and (b) plans to have with the European Commission on the UK’s participation in quantum and space research programmes under the Horizon Europe programme.

Our association to Horizon will give UK scientists and innovators access to the largest collaborative research funding scheme in the world.

The UK has agreed to participate in the whole of the Horizon Europe programme, except the European Innovation Council Fund.

The work programmes for parts of Horizon Europe have not been finalised by the EU, however under the Horizon Europe regulations, access to calls may be restricted to entities established in EU Member States in certain cases. We expect these cases to be exceptional.

We engage with the Commission on a range of topics relating to Horizon Europe, including supporting research collaboration between the UK and EU, timing of funding opportunities under Horizon Europe and potential exclusions.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has read the research paper entitled Computers trusted and found wanting, published in Computer Law and Security Report by Dr Stephen Castell; and what assessment he has made of the conclusions of that report on the reliability of computers.

I am grateful to have the paper brought to my attention. The National Cyber Security Centre continue to focus on the security and reliability of computer systems and conduct research, working with research institutes, in order to maintain and develop current understanding.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions the Government (a) has had and (b) plans to have with the European Commission on the UK’s participation in quantum and space research programmes under the Horizon Europe programme.

It has not proved possible to respond to the Hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential extent to which the UK will be excluded from quantum and space research programmes as a result of the UK holding associate membership of the EU's Horizon Europe programme rather than full membership of that EU programme.

It has not proved possible to respond to the Hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 30 March 2021 to Question 173012 on Africa: Research, if he will establish the number of early career researchers across the continent of Africa who will lose funding as a result of changes to the Official Development Assistance allocation to the Future Leaders - African Independent Research programme.

It has not proved possible to respond to the Hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what comparative assessment he has made of the procurement rules for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and those under UK's Public Contracts Regulations 2015.

In designing ARIA, we have considered international comparators including the Defense Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in the US. DARPA benefits from autonomy and flexibility outside the standard government contracting and granting standards. Flexibility is a core element of the DARPA model, and its history of success in the US.

ARIA is not intended to replicate DARPA - but DARPA has flexibilities that will benefit ARIA in the UK context.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make an estimate of the number of notifications his Department will receive under the National Security and Investment regime in response to changes made to the Bill at Report Stage.

On the basis the available data, which is limited to evidence from: Capital IQ on mergers and acquisitions with a value of £1 million and above; Pitchbook on transactions with a value below £1 million, and; Orbis on the number of indirect mergers and acquisitions, the removal of the 15% mandatory notification threshold from the National Security and Investment Bill is assessed as de minimis. Nonetheless, we do expect this to reduce the number of acquisitions subject to mandatory notification.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the Advanced Research and Invention Agency will fund engineering projects.

ARIA will have an open remit, with maximum autonomy over what it chooses to fund. Its focus will be on finding and funding transformational science and technology, wherever it exists.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the proportion of the science budget that will be allocated to the Advanced Research and Invention Agency in each remaining year of the 2019 Parliament.

ARIA’s budget commitment of £800m up to 2024/25 is expected to represent less than 2% of the Government’s current total annual R&D investment over the same period.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many FOI requests UKRI (a) received and (b) complete in each of the last five years for which figures are available; and on average how much it costs UKRI to fulfil an FOI request.

The numbers of Freedom of Information Act (FOI) requests received and completed since UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) was established in April 2018 are:

2018

2019

2020

2021 (January to March)

FOI requests Received

240

358

362

101

FOI responses Completed

225

336

371*

98

*cases received at the end of 2019 were closed in the beginning of 2020.

UKRI does not record the costs of responding to individual FOI requests.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure there is no duplication of work between ARIA and existing publicly funded R&D.

ARIA is an addition to the public funding landscape and will exclusively focus on projects with potential to produce transformative technological change, or a paradigm-shift in an area of science.

ARIA will have an open remit, with maximum autonomy over what it chooses to fund. The additional funding stream will complement existing publicly or privately funded research for cutting edge science and technology. However, ARIA’s streamlined structure, minimal bureaucracy and financial flexibility will mean ARIA can fund this research in new and creative ways, delivering to researchers in the way that best supports their work.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the timescale between passing the Advanced Research and Invention Agency (ARIA) Bill and ARIA’s first investment in high risk research.

We expect ARIA to be operational from Spring 2022.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 25 March 2021 to Question 173015, what factors a programme manager will consider when setting ARIA ambitions.

ARIA’s leadership will have the autonomy to choose which programmes they fund and how they fund them to best deliver long-term, transformational advances in science and technology. As detailed in the ARIA Bill, in exercising its functions ARIA will have regard to the desirability of:

  1. contributing to economic growth, or an economic benefit, in the United Kingdom,
  2. promoting scientific innovation and invention in the United Kingdom,
  3. improving the quality of life in the United Kingdom (or in the United Kingdom and elsewhere).

BEIS will not set specific criteria for strategic funding decisions or for the goals of Programme Managers.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much of the £50 million budget allocated for the first year of ARIA he estimates will be spent on (a) administration and HR functions and (b) high risk research projects.

The spending profile for ARIA will be for the leadership of ARIA to develop.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to encourage private sector investment in high risk high reward research in the UK.

The Government has set out plans at Spending Review to cement the UK’s status as a global leader in science and innovation by investing £14.9 billion in R&D in 2021/22. This investment supports our commitments set out in the R&D Roadmap as we build towards UK R&D investment of 2.4% of GDP by 2027.

Leveraging investment from the private sector will be vital to reach the 2.4% target and achieve our ambitions for innovation. The Government has already set out at Budget a range of measures to boost private investment in research and development, including a review of R&D tax reliefs, supported by a consultation with stakeholders, and £375 million to introduce Future Fund: Breakthrough, a new direct co-investment product to support the scale up of the most innovative, R&D-intensive businesses.

The Government is also establishing the Advanced Research and Invention Agency (ARIA), focusing exclusively on high-risk, high-reward research with a budget of £800m up to 2024/25. ARIA projects will be able to attract private co-financing as part of a new and creative approach to funding.

These developments will complement our existing incentives for private R&D investment and, as the Plan for Growth set out at Budget, BEIS will also publish an Innovation Strategy this summer with a view to providing the private sector the confidence to invest as we look to Build Back Better.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what factors the Government will take into account when deciding the year on year budget allocation for ARIA.

ARIA is being established to pursue long-term research that has a transformational impact over many years. As it always has done, BEIS will continue to work with HM Treasury to manage multi-year commitments against fiscal budgeting cycles.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what progress he has made in the recruitment process to fill the roles of (a) Chair and (b) Chief Executive for ARIA; and whether he plans to appoint an interim chief executive to that agency.

The open recruitment campaigns for ARIA’s first Chair and CEO will launch this spring and there is no intention to make any interim appointments.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 30 March 2021 to Question 173012 on Africa: Research, how many early career researchers in Africa will lose funding as a result of changes to the Official Development Assistance allocation to the Future Leaders - African Independent Research (FLAIR) programme.

I refer the Hon. Member to the reply I gave on 30th March 2021 to Question 173012.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 18 March 2021 to Question 168909, on Business: Government Assistance, what the definition of business used for grant allocation is; and whether that definition includes businesses without rateable premises.

Valuation Office Agency data identified the number of rate-paying businesses in scope for LRSG (Open) in the sectors and local authority areas where this scheme was applicable. This was done on the basis of Special Category (SCAT) code data which classifies properties by use.

In recognition that there are businesses, such as market traders, that aren’t on the business rates register, the Additional Restrictions Grant has been made available to Local Authorities to provide discretionary support to businesses including those t not on the business rates register.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the number of early career researchers across the continent of Africa who will lose funding due to changes to the Future Leaders - African Independent Research (FLAIR) programme.

The challenging financial situation we face due to the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a temporary reduction in the UK’s aid spending target from 0.7% of GNI to 0.5%. This means making difficult decisions when it comes to prioritising how we spend aid money to deliver the most impactful outcomes.

BEIS is working with its ODA Delivery Partners to manage the implementation of the 21/22 ODA settlement for R&D; this includes the Royal Society who run the FLAIR programme.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what his role will be in setting the direction and missions of the Advance Research and Invention Agency.

ARIA will fund research in new ways across areas, industries, or technologies. ARIA will not have its research focus set by Ministers. Following an open and robust recruitment process, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State will appoint an exceptional and visionary leadership team and entrust them to set the research agenda for ARIA.

While ARIA will not be given an overarching ‘mission’ by Government, ARIA’s programmes will each be motivated by a single, clear ambition set by the programme manager. Research projects and funding decisions will all be motivated by that clear programme goal.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 18 March 2021 to Question 168909 on Business: Government Assistance, what the value per (a) capita and (b) business was for the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) covering the periods of local covid-19 restrictions between (i) 1 August 2020 to 5 November 2020 and (ii) 2 December 2020 to 5 January 2021.

The Government is committed to continuing to provide financial support via Local Authorities for business premises that are required to close, or which are severely affected by the restrictions put in place to tackle Covid-19 and save lives.

For businesses in Tier 2 and Tier 3, funding was made available to Local Authorities to provide discretionary grants via the Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) (Open). When the national lockdown was announced on 5 January, the LRSG (Open) was replaced by the LRSG (Closed) Addendum: 5 January onwards. From 1 April, the LRSG will be replaced by Restart Grants to support businesses as they begin to reopen.

Discretionary grants – the LRSG (Open) and the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) - are formula based. Data on Government allocations to, and payments by, Local Authorities, of the LRSG (Open) and other Government Business Support Grants, is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-grant-funding-local-authority-payments-to-small-and-medium-businesses.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 12 March 2021 to Question 162599, on Business: Finance, in which of the files on the referenced url is the methodology for calculating the funds paid.

The link provided in the answer given to Question 162599 was a link to local authority level allocations summary which required you to click through to the guidance released on the methods for calculating allocations for the Additional Restrictions Grant and Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open). The direct links to the relevant guidance is as below.

For the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG), guidance sets out the original method for allocating funds: ‘Local Authorities will receive a one-off lump sum payment amounting to £20 per head in each eligible Local Authority when LCAL 3 or widespread national restrictions are imposed.’

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/966854/20210304_Additional_Restrictions_Grant_-_LA_guidance.pdf

For the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) covering the periods of local restrictions between 1st August to 5th November and 2nd December to 5th January the guidance sets out that funding was allocated on the basis of Valuation Office Agency data on the number of businesses in scope in those areas of England subject to local Covid restrictions for the period in question.

Guidance for the 1st August to 5th November period can be found here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/966860/20210304_Local_Restrictions_Support_Grant__OPEN__applicable_1_Aug_-_5_Nov_-_LA_guidance.pdf.

Guidance for the 2nd December to 5th January period can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/966858/20210304_Local_Restrictions_Support_Grant__OPEN__applicable_2_December_-_LA_guidance.pdf.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 1 March 2021 to Question 157102 on Advanced Research and Invention Agency: Expenditure, when year on year funding allocations for the new Advanced Research and Innovation Agency will be announced; and whether work is taking place on (a) the design of and (b) recruitment to the Agency in the absence of those funding allocations.

In the single year Spending Review covering financial year 2021-2022, the Government committed to provide the first £50 million in funding for ARIA related activities, and a total £800 million investment by 2024-25.

The precise year-on-year allocations for ARIA after 2021-22 will be determined for, and announced in, forthcoming Spending Reviews.

BEIS officials have been working on the high-level design features of ARIA to support delivery of the ARIA Bill, and delivery of a forthcoming framework agreement between ARIA and BEIS. This said, it is by design that certain operational details are left at the discretion of the independent body.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on levels of private sector research and development; and whether that effect will impact on the Government's 2.4 per cent research and development spending target.

The Government is monitoring the impact of COVID-19 on private sector research and development through surveys - such as the Enterprise Research Centre’s work on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the status of Innovate UK award holders, published at https://www.enterpriseresearch.ac.uk/publications/assessing-the-impact-of-covid-19-on-innovate-uk-award-holders-survey-and-case-study-evidence-wave-2-october-november-2020/ .

Office for National Statistics data on R&D performed in UK Businesses in 2020 is planned for release toward the end of 2021. This will help us to assess the effect of the pandemic on R&D investment levels.

We remain committed to increasing UK investment in R&D to 2.4% of GDP by 2027. The Government set out plans at Spending Review to invest £14.6 billion in R&D in 2021/22.

Leveraging investment from the private sector will be vital to reach the 2.4% target and achieve our ambitions for innovation. The Government has already set out at Budget a range of measures to boost private investment in research and development, including a review of R&D tax reliefs, supported by a consultation with stakeholders, and £375 million to introduce Future Fund: Breakthrough, a new direct co-investment product to support the scale up of the most innovative, R&D-intensive businesses. These developments will complement our existing incentives for private R&D investment.

As set out in ‘Building Back Better: our Plan for Growth’, we are developing an Innovation Strategy, which will be published in the summer. The Strategy will consider how we can boost innovation across the UK economy to increase productivity and tackle our biggest social and economic challenges.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 26 February 2021 to Question 153244 on Electric Vehicles: Production, what steps he is taking to support and grow the UK's lithium battery recycling capabilities.

In order to maximise the economic and environmental opportunities of the transition to zero emission vehicles, the UK Government is supporting the creation of a circular economy for electric vehicle batteries.

This includes supporting the innovation, infrastructure, and regulatory environment for a UK battery recycling industry, including reuse in second life applications (such as energy storage) and development of efficient recycling techniques to extract maximum value.

The Government has allocated £318m to the Faraday Battery Challenge which is playing a leading role in promoting the reuse and recycling of battery components. The Faraday Institution’s £10 million ‘ReLib’ (Reuse and Recycling of Lithium-ion Batteries) research project is developing the technological, economic and legal infrastructure to allow high percentages of the materials in lithium-ion batteries at the end of their first life to be reused or recycled.

The Automotive Transformation Fund has been designed to support strategic investments in the electric vehicle supply chain, the scope of which includes battery recycling facilities.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when the Government plans to make funding allocations to universities and other research institutions to allow those institutions to plan support for post-doctoral research students.

Research and development (R&D) are central to igniting the UK’s economic recovery, creating new jobs, boosting productivity, and improving people’s quality of life. New technologies will bring more productive, higher paid jobs to the whole economy.

We are increasing investment in R&D across government to £14.6bn in 2021/22. This investment will put research and development at the heart of economic and social recovery from the impacts of COVID-19, enabling us to build back better for a greener, healthier and more resilient UK.

We are working closely with all our delivery partners to understand the impact of the settlement on universities and other research institutions. We are also engaging with our partners to develop the 2021/22 allocations and help them plan implementation.

We aim to update our partners on 2021/22 funding as soon as possible.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of the absence of an announcement on government-funded research and development allocations for 2021-22 on universities and other research institutions planning their spending for that financial year; and whether he plans on making that announcement before the beginning of the 2021-22 financial year.

Research and development (R&D) are central to igniting the UK’s economic recovery, creating new jobs, boosting productivity, and improving people’s quality of life. New technologies will bring more productive, higher paid jobs to the whole economy.

We are increasing investment in R&D across government to £14.6bn in 2021/22. This investment will put research and development at the heart of economic and social recovery from the impacts of COVID-19, enabling us to build back better for a greener, healthier and more resilient UK.

We are working closely with all our delivery partners to understand the impact of the settlement on universities and other research institutions. We are also engaging with our partners to develop the 2021/22 allocations and help them plan implementation.

We aim to update our partners on 2021/22 funding as soon as possible.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on businesses with a rateable value above £51,000.

The Government engages closely with businesses and local partners to understand the impact of Covid-19 across all sectors of the economy.

Substantial grant support has been made available throughout the pandemic including to those businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 and above.

Where those businesses are currently required by law to close, the Local Restrictions Support Grant enables local authorities to make grant payments of the equivalent of £4,500 per six-week period of closure.

Businesses with a rateable value above £51,000 that were required by law to close at the beginning of the January lockdown are also able to access one-off grants of £9,000 through the Closed Business Lockdown Payment.

My Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced that a further iteration of grants will be made available to enable businesses to reopen as Covid-19 restrictions are lifted. Restart Grants will offer businesses further one-off grants of up to £18,000. Further details will be made available in due course.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much annual funding his Department provides to the National Security Investment unit within the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

BEIS has received a one-year Spending Review settlement along with all other departments. The Investment Security Unit will have the necessary resources to deliver the National Security and Investment regime.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the oral contribution of the Minister for Business, Energy and Clean Growth of 18 November 2020, Official report, col 437, what steps have been taken to protect the National Grid from a solar storm.

Great Britain has one of the most robust energy systems in the world and maintaining a secure electricity supply is a key priority for the Government.

The Department works extensively with National Grid Electricity System Operator (NGESO) and other infrastructure operators, to ensure that the impacts of a severe space weather event are well understood, and the appropriate steps are taken to ensure the sector’s preparedness for major space weather events.

NGESO has robust plans in place, which are constantly reinforced based on the latest science and information, to mitigate against high impact risks, including solar storms. In recent years, National Grid has increased the number of spare transformers that they hold so that damaged equipment can be promptly replaced, continue to introduce a new design of transformers which are operationally more resistant to the effects of space weather and undertaking emergency exercises aimed at improving knowledge, resilience, and response capability.

In order to improve our ability to predict and mitigate the hazards of space weather, in October 2019 the UK Government announced a £20m boost to predict severe space weather events. This nearly quadruples investment from government into research that can improve systems at the Met Office Space Weather Operations Centre. This will further build the UK’s knowledge on how to forecast and better prepare for these space weather events.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what work Admiral Associates has undertaken with the Vaccine Taskforce on helping to ensure that covid-19 vaccines are taken up by hard to reach groups.

Early in the existence of the Vaccine Taskforce, public communication on vaccines was identified as a key challenge for the successful delivery of COVID-19 vaccines. The Government strengthened its communication function to support this significant undertaking and communication specialists sourced by Admiral (with experience in clinical trials and of working with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)) were brought onboard using the Public Sector Resourcing framework.

The communication specialists sourced by Admiral worked with the NIHR to develop the world’s first national citizen registry so that individuals could sign up to participate in clinical vaccine trials. As a result, over 454,000 people have signed up to date.

Admiral was also involved in creating a proactive communications programme aimed at encouraging greater sign-up to the registry through the “COVID-19: the search for a vaccine” podcast. This provided a factual transparent source of information on vaccines for UK citizens, combating the anti-vaccination movement, and highlighting the UK's role as a leader in vaccine research and development. The podcast included an episode that specifically covered the need to include people from the Black, Asian and ethnic minority communities in trials and addressed some of the concerns within these communities.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment has he made of the ability of the Investment Screening Unit to manage an increase in screening referrals from universities due to an expansion in asset transaction screening as a result of the National Security and Investment Bill.

The Investment Screening Unit (ISU) will have the necessary resources to deliver the National Security and Investment regime and will draw on expertise and skills held across government and security services.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will assess the implications for (a) the UK economy and (b) innovation in the UK of Royal Mail's continued ownership of the Postcode Address File as set out under the Postal Services Act 2000; and if he will place that assessment in the Library.

The Government understands the role data plays in delivering benefits in the public and private sectors and the UK has traditionally maintained high quality address data that supports a wide range of uses across the economy.

The Postcode Address File (PAF), owned and maintained by Royal Mail Group, is the definitive list of postal delivery points for the UK and a key enabler of the Universal Service Obligation.

The PAF provides access to the private sector on reasonable terms, which are regulated by Ofcom, with free access to small charities and microbusinesses in their first year. On 1 April 2020, the Government extended the PAF Public Sector Licence for a further 3 years to ensure free at the point of use access to PAF data for all public sector organisations to support the delivery of effective and efficient public services.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much and what proportion of the £300 million allocated to experimental mathematical research in the 2020 budget has been spent; and what assessment he has made of the potential effect of that funding on attracting the best global talent.

UK Research and Innovation has made commitments totalling £100m from within this programme to date. £8m of this is currently allocated for this financial year. This includes £1.76m for PhD Studentships, the first cohort of which had 146 PhD students starting in October 2020 with 29% of these supported under increased residency eligibility flexibility afforded to international students.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how far in advance the UK's weather capabilities can detect an impending solar storm; and what steps he is taking to collaborate with other nations to increase the detection and mitigate the impact of solar storms.

The UK is a world leader in space weather forecasting and the Met Office Space Weather Operations Centre provides forecasts and warnings of space weather on a 24/7 basis.

Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) are responsible for the most severe space weather. Preliminary warnings are issued at least 12 hours in advance for the fastest CMEs. Certainty over the magnitude of an event and its impacts is dependent on critical measurements as the CME passes over monitoring spacecraft positioned 1 million miles from Earth and is provided with approximately 15 to 20 minutes notice. The UK is the largest funder of the European Space Agency “Lagrange” mission, which is due to launch in 2027. This mission will enable better characterisation of CMEs and improve forecasting accuracy of the timing and magnitude of events.

International collaboration is crucial to space weather prediction. The UK’s primary partners are the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Centre and the USAF 557th Weather Wing in the United States, with whom the Met Office maintains 24/7 communications in support of our respective operations. The UK also collaborates closely with many nations in Europe notably Belgium, Finland, the Netherlands and Germany.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what proportion of the Industrial Strategy Fund has been allocated to companies based in the North East.

As of 3rd March 2021, £84 million had been awarded to organisations registered in the North East, out of a total of £1.8 billion of grants awarded from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund across the whole of the UK.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 12 February 2021 to Question 148771, on Vaccines: Manufacturing Industries, what steps he has taken to increase offline vaccine manufacturing infrastructure since the beginning of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has provided funding to establish Centres of Excellence for vaccines to expand the UK’s manufacturing capacity and associated advanced therapeutics. The aim is to respond to this pandemic as well as increase the UK’s pandemic preparedness for the future.

Investments which will contribute to our future preparedness include:

  • £93 million to accelerate the completion and expanded capacity of the Vaccines Manufacturing Innovation Centre in Oxfordshire;

  • £127 million for the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult in Braintree, Essex;

  • £8.6 million for the Centre of Process Innovation (CPI) to develop Good Manufacturing Process (GMP)-ready messenger RNA (mRNA) manufacturing capability;

  • As recently announced in the Budget, a further £5 million for the CPI to support their creation of a “library” of mRNA vaccines developed to tackle emerging COVID-19 variants;

  • Funding for the expansion of the Valneva factory in Livingston, Scotland; and

  • £4.7 million for skills training through the Advanced Therapies Skills Training Network which will ensure that the UK has the skills and expertise to operate existing and upcoming facilities.
Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will hold discussions with the Home Secretary on the potential effect of the Global Talent visa system reforms announced in Budget 2021 on the number of overseas applications for science and technology positions; and if he will make an estimate of the number of (a) scientists and (b) researchers that will apply for that visa in its first year of operation after reforms have been implemented.

The Government is committed to making the UK the top destination in the world for scientist, researcher and innovator talent. That is why in the 2021 Budget, the Government announced planned changes to the UK immigration system to help the UK attract and retain the most highly skilled, globally mobile talent from around the world and ensure the continued competitiveness of our high-growth, innovative sectors. These changes include the introduction of an elite points-based visa, a review of the Innovator visa route, and reforms to the Global Talent visa, including to allow recipients of international prizes to automatically qualify.

We are working closely with the Home Office on these matters, and my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy speaks regularly with my Rt. Hon. Friend the Home Secretary to discuss our plans for growth and to build back better, of which these immigration announcements are key components.

Further details on the policies and impact assessments will be published in due course. The Government expects these immigration changes to attract an additional 10-20,000 high-skilled migrants to the UK per year across all high-skilled routes to turbo-charge our post pandemic recovery and stimulate the UK’s longer-term growth.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to encourage funding from the private sector for research and development.

As set out in ‘Building Back Better: our Plan for Growth’, we are developing an Innovation Strategy, which will be published in the summer. The Strategy will consider how we can boost innovation across the UK economy to increase productivity and tackle our biggest social and economic challenges.

The Government has set out plans at Spending Review to cement the UK’s status as a global leader in science and innovation by investing £14.6 billion in R&D in 2021/22. This investment supports our commitments set out in the R&D Roadmap as we build towards UK R&D investment of 2.4% of GDP by 2027.

Leveraging investment from the private sector will be vital to reach the 2.4% target and achieve our ambitions for innovation. The Government has already set out at Budget a range of measures to boost private investment in research and development, including a review of R&D tax reliefs, supported by a consultation with stakeholders, and £375 million to introduce Future Fund: Breakthrough, a new direct co-investment product to support the scale up of the most innovative, R&D-intensive businesses. These developments will complement our existing incentives for private R&D investment.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the funding distribution equation for discretionary business support is calculated by local authority population or by individual business size; and if he will publish the methodology for the distribution of discretionary business support funds.

The methodology for calculating grant allocations for the discretionary business grant funds has been published in Government guidance for Local Authorities which is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-grant-funding-local-authority-payments-to-small-and-medium-businesses.

There are two discretionary schemes which have been available for specified periods from August 2020 - the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) and the Additional Restrictions Grant.

For the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open), applicable between the 1 August- 5 November 2020 and between 5th December 2020 and 5th January 2021, in areas where local Covid-19 restrictions were in place, the relevant Local Authorities were issued funding allocations which were calculated using Valuations Office Agency (VOA) data on the number of hospitality, accommodation and leisure businesses in the Local Authority geography, plus a 5% top up.

For the Additional Restrictions Grant, the initial allocation and subsequent additional allocations were based on ONS 2019 Mid-Year Population Estimate for the total population within a given Local Authority.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to Answer of 16 December 2020 to Question 128674 on Horizon 2020, what plans the Government has for funding continued UK participation in the EU Horizon programme.

The UK will participate in Horizon Europe as part of the Trade and Co-operation Agreement (TCA) with the EU. We will pay a fair and appropriate share into the budget of this programme to enable the UK science and research sector to further their partnerships with our European neighbours.

Participating in Horizon Europe will strengthen R&D to build on the UK’s world class reputation for research and innovation. It provides exciting opportunities for UK businesses and SMEs to support growth and innovation, working with our international partners. Business organisations and researchers have strongly welcomed us securing this outcome.

We will set out our plans for R&D spend in 2021/22 – including funding for Horizon Europe – when we publish our R&D allocations. This will be done in due course.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much funding from the public purse has been spent on covid-19 vaccine (a) manufacturing and (b) research and development since 1 March 2020; if he will make a comparative assessment of the adequacy of that funding spent since 1 March 2020 and the £128 million ringfenced for covid-19 vaccine R&D and manufacturing in Budget 2021; and what proportion of that funding ringfenced in Budget 2021 the Government plans to spend on covid-19 vaccine (i) manufacturing (ii) research and development.

The UK was the first country in the world to procure, authorise, and start a vaccination programme using the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines. The Government has secured access to 457 million doses, across eight different vaccine developers. As of 8 March, over 22.2 million individuals have been vaccinated with a first dose.

At the Comprehensive Spending Review 2020, the Government announced it has made available more than £6 billion in total to develop, manufacture, and procure COVID-19 vaccines. Of that, £733 million in 2021-22 was confirmed to purchase successful vaccines and £128 million was confirmed for the research and development (R&D) of vaccines, as well as their manufacture. Further funding may be allocated from COVID-19 reserves as needed.

On R&D, we have allocated:

  • £33.6 million for the Human Challenge Programme.
  • £20 million to the University of Oxford to fund clinical trials for their COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Over £40 million to Imperial College London for the development of their vaccine.

At Budget 2021, the Government announced funding of:

  • £28 million to increase the UK’s capacity for vaccine testing, support for clinical trials, and to improve the UK’s ability to rapidly acquire samples of new variants of COVID-19.
  • £22 million for a world-leading study to test the effectiveness of combinations of different COVID-19 vaccines. This will also fund the world’s first study assessing the effectiveness of a third dose of vaccine to improve the response against current and future variants of COVID-19.
  • A further £5 million on top of a previous £9 million investment in clinical-scale mRNA manufacturing, to create a ‘library’ of vaccines that will work against COVID-19 variants for possible rapid response deployment.

On manufacturing,the Government has invested over £300 million to secure and scale-up the UK’s manufacturing capabilities to be able to respond to the pandemic. This includes:

a) Facilities that have come online:

  • £4.7 million for skills training through the Advanced Therapies Skills Training Network, which will be delivered through both virtual and physical centres.
  • £8.75 million for the set-up of the rapid deployment facility at Oxford Biomedica in Oxfordshire.
  • £65.5 million for the early manufacture of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.
  • Funding for fill and finish through a contract with Wockhardt in Wrexham, North Wales, which is currently providing fill and finish capabilities to the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

b) Facilities that will come online later this year, to help provide longer-term UK capacity:

  • £93 million to accelerate the completion and expanded role of the Vaccines Manufacturing Innovation Centre in Oxfordshire.
  • £127 million for the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult in Braintree, Essex.

In addition to the above, we have also funded the expansion of the Valneva factory in Livingston, Scotland.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the proportion of SMEs that will receive funding in each year of the Help to Grow: Digital scheme announced on 3 March 2020; and what the (a) criteria and (b) administration arrangements are for that scheme.

Through Help to Grow: Digital, the Government will launch a new online platform this Autumn where businesses can access advice on software that could help them save time and money, and a voucher to reduce the costs of buying that software. Over the next 3 years, 100 000 eligible SMEs could benefit from a voucher providing up to a 50% discount (worth up to £5,000) to adopt approved productivity-enhancing software. The voucher is expected to be available to UK businesses that have more than 5 and fewer than 249 employees and that have been trading for more than 12 months. The programme will launch in Autumn 2021 and eligible businesses are encouraged to register their interest at https://helptogrow.campaign.gov.uk/.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what proportion of the £6 billion of additional funding for vaccine development and procurement announced in Budget 2021 will be spent on (a) research and development, (b) manufacturing and (c) procurement; and if he will make a statement.

The UK was the first country in the world to procure, authorise, and start a vaccination programme using the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines. The Government has secured access to 457 million doses, across eight different vaccine developers. As of 11 March, over 22.8 million individuals have been vaccinated with a first dose in the UK.

At the Spending Review 2020, the Government announced it had made available more than £6 billion in total to develop, manufacture, and procure COVID-19 vaccines. Of that, we confirmed £733 million in 2021-22 to purchase successful vaccines and £128 million for research and development (R&D) and vaccines manufacturing. Further funding will be allocated from the COVID-19 reserve as needed.

For R&D, we have invested:

  • £33.6 million for the Human Challenge Programme.
  • £20 million to the University of Oxford to fund clinical trials for its COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Over £40 million to Imperial College London for the development of its vaccine.

At Budget 2021, the Government announced funding of:

  • £28 million to increase the UK’s capacity for vaccine testing, support for clinical trials, and to improve the UK’s ability to rapidly acquire samples of new variants of COVID-19.
  • £22 million for a world-leading study to test the effectiveness of combinations of different COVID-19 vaccines. This will also fund the world’s first study assessing the effectiveness of a third dose of vaccine to improve the response against current and future variants of COVID-19.
  • A further £5 million on top of a previous £9 million investment in clinical-scale mRNA manufacturing, to create a ‘library’ of vaccines that will work against COVID-19 variants for possible rapid response deployment.

For manufacturing, the Government has invested over £300 million to secure and scale-up the UK’s manufacturing capabilities to be able to respond to the pandemic. This includes:

a) Facilities that have come online:

  • £4.7 million for skills training through the Advanced Therapies Skills Training Network, which will be delivered through both virtual and physical centres.
  • £8.75 million for the set-up of the rapid deployment facility at Oxford Biomedica in Oxfordshire.
  • £65.5 million for the early manufacture of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.
  • Funding for fill and finish capabilities through a contract with Wockhardt in Wrexham, North Wales which is currently providing fill and finish capabilities to the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

b) Facilities that will come online later this year, to help provide longer-term UK capacity:

  • £93 million to accelerate the completion and expanded role of the Vaccines Manufacturing Innovation Centre in Oxfordshire.
  • £127 million for the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult in Braintree, Essex.

In addition to the above, we have also funded the expansion of the Valneva factory in Livingston, Scotland.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 22 February 2021 to Question 153242 on Amazon: Conditions of Employment, whether he has discussed workers' rights (a) in the retail sector and (b) at Amazon with (i) Amazon and (ii) the Retail Council.

Enforcement of employment rights remains as important as ever. The Government already spends £35 million a year on state enforcement of employment rights. This Government will always continue to stand behind workers and stamp out unscrupulous practices where they occur.

The industry-led RSC’s work programme is set out on its website https://retailsectorcouncil.co.uk/ along with the minutes of its meetings.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much has been spent on the Advanced Research & Invention Agency since March 2020.

No money has been spent on the Advanced Research and Invention Agency (ARIA). The Government has committed to £800m for ARIA by 2024/25.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much sciences investment was provided by the British Business Banks life sciences investment programme in 2020; and what the projected spend of that programme is in 2021.

The Government has committed to invest £200 million towards a dedicated Life Sciences Investment Programme, to enable the most exciting life sciences companies to scale and grow in the UK.

When the programme is launched by the British Business Bank it will leverage around £400 million of private sector investment, making around £600 million of financing available to the sector over the next 10 years.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
22nd Feb 2021
ICT
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what strategy the Government has in place on investment in the UK’s high performance computing infrastructure; and whether that strategy includes exascale class supercomputers for research.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) recently published a Statement of Opportunities on AI setting out UK’s vision to grow and maintain its international lead in AI research and innovation. UKRI has a key role in facilitating an inclusive and enabling environment for AI research and innovation, including seeking to ensure that professional skills, computing and data analytics capabilities are sufficient to meet the requirements of the UK’s researchers and innovators.

UKRI has been developing a strategy for computing infrastructure that includes people, software and data. Computing is one strand of a successful digital infrastructure ecosystem. Rapid advances in artificial intelligence, and the ability to create ‘digital twins’ of complex systems using High Performance Computing (HPC), have transformative potential for researchers, industry and the public sector. Their large-scale applications requires investing in a computational infrastructure that includes exascale supercomputers to enable the most challenging modelling and simulation problems and the largest AI training challenges. The UK is preparing for the arrival of the exascale era through investment in the UKRI-Met Office ExCALIBUR programme to develop exascale-ready algorithms and software. UKRI’s strategy is for the UK to deploy an exascale supercomputer by 2025.

Additionally, the Government will be investing up to £1.2 billion in new supercomputing infrastructure for the Met Office to provide the UK with world-leading weather and climate science capability.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
22nd Feb 2021
ICT
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to publish a strategy on improving the provision of adequate computing infrastructure for the UK’s scientific, research and business communities.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) recently published a Statement of Opportunities on AI setting out UK’s vision to grow and maintain its international lead in AI research and innovation. UKRI has a key role in facilitating an inclusive and enabling environment for AI research and innovation, including seeking to ensure that professional skills, computing and data analytics capabilities are sufficient to meet the requirements of the UK’s researchers and innovators.

UKRI has been developing a strategy for computing infrastructure that includes people, software and data. Computing is one strand of a successful digital infrastructure ecosystem. Rapid advances in artificial intelligence, and the ability to create ‘digital twins’ of complex systems using High Performance Computing (HPC), have transformative potential for researchers, industry and the public sector. Their large-scale applications requires investing in a computational infrastructure that includes exascale supercomputers to enable the most challenging modelling and simulation problems and the largest AI training challenges. The UK is preparing for the arrival of the exascale era through investment in the UKRI-Met Office ExCALIBUR programme to develop exascale-ready algorithms and software. UKRI’s strategy is for the UK to deploy an exascale supercomputer by 2025.

Additionally, the Government will be investing up to £1.2 billion in new supercomputing infrastructure for the Met Office to provide the UK with world-leading weather and climate science capability.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
22nd Feb 2021
ICT
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Government’s objective to lead the world in the areas of Artificial Intelligence and scientific research and the role of high performance computing in those areas, what plans he has to publish a strategy to ensure adequate computing capabilities are available for scientific and business communities to support that policy.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) recently published a Statement of Opportunities on AI setting out UK’s vision to grow and maintain its international lead in AI research and innovation. UKRI has a key role in facilitating an inclusive and enabling environment for AI research and innovation, including seeking to ensure that professional skills, computing and data analytics capabilities are sufficient to meet the requirements of the UK’s researchers and innovators.

UKRI has been developing a strategy for computing infrastructure that includes people, software and data. Computing is one strand of a successful digital infrastructure ecosystem. Rapid advances in artificial intelligence, and the ability to create ‘digital twins’ of complex systems using High Performance Computing (HPC), have transformative potential for researchers, industry and the public sector. Their large-scale applications requires investing in a computational infrastructure that includes exascale supercomputers to enable the most challenging modelling and simulation problems and the largest AI training challenges. The UK is preparing for the arrival of the exascale era through investment in the UKRI-Met Office ExCALIBUR programme to develop exascale-ready algorithms and software. UKRI’s strategy is for the UK to deploy an exascale supercomputer by 2025.

Additionally, the Government will be investing up to £1.2 billion in new supercomputing infrastructure for the Met Office to provide the UK with world-leading weather and climate science capability.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
22nd Feb 2021
ICT
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the UK's withdrawal from the European High Performance Computing programme, what strategy the Government has in place to ensure UK scientists have access to high performance computing infrastructure comparable to that available to other European nations and the UK's international peers.

The High Performance Computing (HPC) needs of UK researchers will be considered as part of the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Digital Infrastructure Strategy. This strategy will also consider access to European and other international computing initiatives. UKRI is investing in UK HPC, such as the new ARCHER2 national facility at the University of Edinburgh (£79m) and the DiRAC HPC provision at Leicester, Durham, Edinburgh, Cambridge, and UCL. The UK has never been part of the European High Performance Computing programme but remains a member of the European PRACE HPC initiative.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the contract with AstraZeneca for at cost vaccine for the duration of the covid-19 pandemic, how the end of the pandemic is defined.

The World Health Organisation declared a coronavirus pandemic on 11 March 2020 and we would expect it in due course to declare a move to a post-pandemic period, as it has done previously for the H1N1 influenza pandemic in 2010.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make a comparative assessment of Amazon policies on workers' rights in the (a) US and (b) UK.

Ministers engage regularly with Amazon, including through the industry-led Retail Sector Council, on a range of topics. The Retail Sector Council has identified employment as one of their priority areas of work. This was discussed at the most recent meeting on 3 February.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to expand the UK's supercomputer capabilities.

The Government has set out its commitment to cement the UK as a world-leading science superpower. Increasing investment in Research and Development will help to achieve that ambition, including investing in new and upgraded high performance computing capability.

As announced in February 2020, the Government will be investing up to £1.2 billion in new supercomputing infrastructure for the Met Office to provide the UK with world-leading weather and climate science capability.

UKRI have also announced an investment of £34 million to expand and upgrade data and digital research infrastructure. This includes advanced analytical capability and enhanced capacity to reveal how COVID-19 has influenced urban mobility, and social and economic activity.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 11 January 2020 to Question 130729 on Research: Finance, what estimate his Department has made of the average proportion of private sector R&D investment from charities and not for profit organisations; and if he will provide a breakdown of inward R&D investment from overseas in the latest period for which figures are available.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) publishes data on UK Gross domestic Expenditure on Research and Development (GERD), and the latest release for 2018 stated the private non-profit sector funded £1,860 million, amounting to 5% of total UK GERD of £37,072 million. The equivalent percentages over the previous decade were also about 5%.

The same ONS release gave a figure for GERD funding from overseas of £5,028m in 2018, with £3,250m of this being performed by UK businesses, £1,562m by Higher Education, £172m by Government and UKRI, and £84m by the private non-profit sector.

A more detailed breakdown of the overseas funding of UK business R&D by product group is available in table 12 of the separate ONS release on UK Business Enterprise Research and Development (BERD), while table 23 shows expenditure on R&D performed in overseas-owned UK businesses by product group.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what progress the Government has made in the development of UK supply chains for large scale production of electric vehicles.

As part of my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan for a green industrial revolution, nearly £500m of capital and R&D funding for the Automotive Transformation Fund will be made available in the next four years to build an internationally competitive electric vehicle supply chain in the UK. The funding is the first part of the up to £1 billion committed by the Government to ensure that the UK takes advantage of this once in a generation opportunity. Securing battery cell manufacturing (gigafactories) is a priority, with further targeted investment in motors, drives, power electronics and hydrogen fuel cells. This will not only improve the air quality in our towns and cities, but also help protect existing jobs in the automotive sector, including in our industrial heartlands.

Additionally, the Government and industry have committed around £1 billion over 10 years to 2023 through the Advanced Propulsion Centre to develop low and zero carbon vehicle technologies. The Government is also investing £318m through the Faraday Battery Challenge to develop the next generation of electric batteries, and nearly £80m through the cross-sector Driving the Electric Revolution programme to build the power electronics, motors, and drives supply chain.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to increase the UK’s long-term vaccine manufacturing capacity.

The Government has invested over £300 million to secure and scale up the UK’s manufacturing capabilities to be able to respond to the pandemic. This includes:

a) Facilities that have come online:

  • £4.7 million for skills training through the Advanced Therapies Skills Training Network, which will be delivered through both virtual and physical centres;
  • £8.75 million for the set-up of the rapid deployment facility at Oxford Biomedica in Oxfordshire;
  • £65.5 million for the early manufacture of the University of Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine; and
  • Funding for fill and finish through a contract with Wockhardt in Wrexham, North Wales which is currently providing fill and finish capabilities to the University of Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine.

b) Facilities that will come online later this year, to help provide longer term UK capacity:

  • £93 million to accelerate the completion and expanded role of the Vaccine Manufacturing Innovation Centre in Oxfordshire; and
  • £127 million for the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult in Braintree, Essex.

In addition to the above, we have also funded the expansion of the Valneva factory in Livingston, Scotland.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the requests made by the NINE DTP postgraduate students in their letter of 15 January 2021 to UKRI on PHD funding extensions.

UKRI has made over £62 million of financial support available to students most impacted by the pandemic. It is estimated that this funding is available for up to 12,000 students. This is part of a wider package of support where UKRI has already taken significant measures through £180m in costed extensions for research grants, and £334m support for innovative businesses that help support others in the system and their careers, which benefits doctoral students through.

On the requests for additional funding support beyond this, we consider that any additional support to postgraduate researchers must be balanced with the need to support wider research and development funding, including existing commitments. UKRI have recently provided a update on its decision-making in providing support for the research system (Supporting students through the pandemic – UKRI).

I regularly meet with the Minister of State for Universities and with the CEO of UKRI, Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, to monitor how the pandemic is affecting UKRI-funded PhD students and the wider research system. We will continue to monitor the impacts of COVID-19 and UKRI continues to listen and respond carefully.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to support long term studies into (a) covid-19 immunity and (b) new SARS-CoV-2 variants.

I refer the hon Member to the answers given in my response of 5 February 2021 to Questions 144844 and Question 145176.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Education on providing support for UKRI-funded extensions for PhD students whose research has been impacted by the covid-19 outbreak.

We are aware of the enormous pressures that the pandemic has had on doctoral students and their ability to conduct their research. UKRI has made over £62 million of financial support available to students most impacted by the pandemic. It is estimated that this funding is available for up to 12,000 students.

UKRI’s engagement over the summer with universities and supervisors found that many were supporting their students to find creative ways to re-plan their work to enable students to graduate on schedule. In addition, we know that different students have been impacted to different extents.

I regularly meet with my Hon. Friend the Minister of State for Universities and with the CEO of UKRI, Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, to monitor how the pandemic is affecting UKRI-funded PhD students and the wider research system. We will continue to monitor the impacts of COVID-19 and UKRI continues to listen and respond carefully as the situation evolves.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 15 January 2021 to Question 132902, whether it is his Department's policy that pricing strategies are a matter for businesses that are in a dominant position.

The Competition Act 1998 prohibits abuse of a dominant position – abusive behaviour can relate to pricing strategies, for example excessive pricing or setting artificially low prices to stifle competition.

The Competition and Markets Authority is responsible for investigating individual and market-wide competition issues in the UK. The Government has ensured that the CMA has significant powers to investigate and act if it finds that companies are behaving anti-competitively in a market.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions has he had with the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on London Fire Brigade's warning in response to the recent major house fire in London caused by lithium batteries; and what assessment he has made of the potential effect of that matter on the Government's commitment to increase use of lithium batteries.

The Government is committed to ensuring there is an effective products safety system so that only safe products can be sold in the UK. We have some of the most robust product safety requirements in the world. Manufacturers and importers must ensure that products are safe before they are placed on the market. They must monitor the safety of their products in use and take action if a safety issue is identified. Enforcement authorities have powers to take action against manufacturers, importers and distributors of unsafe goods.

The Office for Product Safety and Standards has a memorandum of understanding with the London Fire Brigade and engages regularly with them on issues of product safety.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 23 December to Question 130074 on Retail Trade: Digital Technology, if he will hold discussions with the Competition and Markets Authority on (a) the implications for competition of Amazon's decision to pass the Digital Services Tax onto its retail customers and (b) whether pricing strategies are a matter for businesses in a position of market dominance.

The Government is committed to ensuring that digital markets are competitive and work for businesses and consumers. In March 2020 we commissioned the Competition and Markets Authority, along with Ofcom and the Information Commissioner’s Office, to advise the Government on how to implement a new pro-competition regime to tackle the market power of dominant digital platforms. The Taskforce published their advice in December 2020 and the Government will respond in due course.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs on the effect of reducing the Official Development Assistance budget on the UK’s ability to influence international research on tackling climate change and biodiversity loss.

As part of the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy relevant government departments have worked together to ensure the UK is a force for good across the globe. We will spend more than £10 billion next year alone to fight poverty, tackle climate change and improve global health.

The Government’s commitment to research and innovation is clearly demonstrated through the recently published R&D Roadmap, and the £400m uplift in R&D spending announced in the Spending Review International collaboration is central feature of a healthy and productive R&D sector.

We recently reaffirmed our commitment to doubling UK’s International Climate Finance to £11.6bn in the years 2021-2025. The UK plays a crucial role in addressing the global challenge of climate change, responding to the needs of developing countries.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many information gateways there are in operation in his Department; and how those gateways are managed and monitored.

This information is not held centrally and can only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 14 December 2020 to Question 124750 on Research: Finance, what the evidential basis is for the statement that £1 of public investment in R&D eventually leverages around £2 of additional private sector investment; and what the time period is of that evidence.

BEIS published “The relationship between public and private R&D funding” (BEIS Research Paper Number 2020/010) on 1 July 2020 at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/research-and-development-relationship-between-public-and-private-funding carried out by Oxford Economics Ltd

They estimated the monetary impact of the long-run leverage rate, suggesting that each £1 of public R&D eventually stimulates between £1.96 and £2.34 of private R&D

The study drew on OECD data for 41 countries from 1961 to 2017 with varying degrees of completeness

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect on small businesses of large technology firms directly passing on the Digital Services Tax to online retailers using their platforms; and what assessment he has made of the effect of such action on the competitiveness of the marketplace.

The Digital Services Tax is a proportionate tax addressing widely held concerns about the tax paid by digital businesses. Pricing strategies reflect a range of factors and are a matter for businesses. The Government has announced the establishment of a new Digital Markets Unit in the CMA to promote competition in digital markets. We will consult on the powers of this unit in due course.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the Made Smarter scheme has been rolled-out across the country.

Since January 2019, BEIS has piloted support to help manufacturing SMEs adopt industrial digital technology to increase their productivity, efficiency and resilience through the Made Smarter North West Pilot, which to date has engaged with more than 1,100 SME manufacturers and more than 150 are receiving intensive support with grant funding. This support is currently only available in the North West of England. Roll out to other parts of England remains under discussion informed by learning from the pilot exercise.

We welcome the strong interest we have seen from local partners in delivering Made Smarter support for adoption of technology in their regions. BEIS has held productive conversations with local partners on their expressions of interest, including in the North East, and I look forward to the continuation of these discussions.

Alongside this support, we are also investing £147m through the Manufacturing Made Smarter Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. This is accessible to manufacturers of all sizes right across the UK and aims to drive innovation in industrial digital technology solutions. A £20m Challenge Fund competition to support increased digitalisation of supply chains was concluded in October, and Innovation Hubs to help manufacturers explore and test digital technology are being piloted across the country, including through the Centre for Process Innovation at both Darlington and Sedgefield.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has made an assessment of the implications of Amazon's decision to pass the Digital Services Tax onto its retail customers for the level of competition in digital retail; and whether he has had discussions with Amazon on that issue.

The Digital Services Tax is a proportionate tax addressing widely held concerns with the tax paid by digital businesses. The Government cannot comment on individual taxpayers, whose pricing strategies reflect a range of factors and are a matter for businesses.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the recommendations on regional innovation made in the Core Cities UK Universities Declaration.

The Government announced we will publish a new ambitious Places Strategy for R&D in the R&D Roadmap. The Places Strategy will ensure that our research and development system delivers real economic and societal benefits in cities, towns, regions, and devolved nations right across the UK.

We will be stepping up our efforts to foster greater collaboration and co-creation between decision-makers at national, devolved, regional and local levels. We will also be factoring the needs and opportunities of places into our decisions about the R&D system.

Building on strengths and ensuring that all areas experience the benefits of a R&D intensive economy is an important part of the government’s ambition to increase R&D investment across the economy to 2.4% of GDP by 2027.

BEIS and UKRI are engaging widely with industry, civic organisations and the scientific community including universities from across the country to help develop a strategy that responds to the needs of areas and communities across the UK. As part of this we will be considering the recommendations on regional innovation made in the Core Cities UK Universities Declaration.

Looking at innovation more broadly, we have convened an innovation expert group, Chaired by Dr Hayaatun Sillem CBE of the Royal Academy of Engineering, to provide advice to government on the priority actions and opportunities that need to be taken to boost innovation and drive up the UK’s productivity.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to section 5.18 of the Spending Review 2020, published in November 2020, CP330, what his Department's timescale is for announcing the Governments research and innovation priorities for the disbursement of the £450 in 2021-22.

This ambitious £450 million fund will support strategic government priorities, build new science capability and support the whole research and innovation ecosystem. This includes the first £50 million towards an £800 million investment by 2024/25 in high-risk, high-payoff research. Further details of how funding will be allocated will be announced in due course.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 8 December 2020 to Question 124750 on Research: Public Expenditure, whether the Government has targets for increasing R&D investment year on year to meet its target of spending 2.4 per cent of GDP on R&D by 2027.

In the Spending Review last month, my Rt hon Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer said that to cement the UK’s future as a scientific superpower and drive economic growth, the government is investing £14.6 billion in R&D in 2021/22. It will be important to stimulate private sector investment and support public services to get the most out of our excellent research base and to achieve the 2.4% target.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 9 September 2020 to Question 83800 on OneWeb and with reference to the Spending Review 2020, from which area of his Departmental budget will the funding for the acquisition of OneWeb be allocated from; and what plans he has for future investment in the OneWeb satellite system.

The budget for OneWeb is being allocated to the Department through the supplementary estimates and considered as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review 2020 process.

The Government is investing $500m into OneWeb, and the Department through UKGI, will work closely with the company and other partners to raise additional private investment.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he had has with the Minister for the Cabinet office on proposals for a new UK research funding agency broadly modelled on the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency; and what assessment he has made of the potential merits of that agency being established (a) being within the UKRI umbrella and (b) as an independent body.

The Government continues to progress plans to establish a new research funding agency as soon as possible. Discussions are ongoing across Government at both official and Ministerial levels to develop and deliver the new agency.

The Government has a high level of ambition for this new blue-skies research funding body, demonstrated by backing it with at least £800 million in funding over its first five years. There has been consideration of various options for how, and where, the body should be established to best meet that ambition.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans the Government has to recognise the European Commission Memorandum of Understanding on the sale of counterfeit goods on the internet after the end of the transition period.

The Government takes the infringement of IP rights seriously, and delivers a range of work through the UK IPO and other agencies to tackle the sale of counterfeit goods. Following the publication of the 2017 Industrial Strategy the IPO has facilitated a series of roundtables which have been working towards agreements with many of the same sales platforms and rights holder bodies who are signatories to the European Commission MoU. Given this work, and other ongoing domestic interventions, we have no current plans to adopt or formally recognise the European Commission MoU.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the implications for (a) his policies, (b) research funding frameworks and (c) Industrial Strategy Challenge Funds of the findings of the report entitled Digital technology and the planet, Harnessing computing to achieve net zero, published by the Royal Society on 3 December 2020 on the net zero imperative.

The BEIS Energy Innovation Programme supports smart energy by driving innovation in digital and data-enabled technologies for energy management and flexibility, including managing energy demand and creating platforms for trading energy resources. The new £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, outlined in the Energy White Paper, will build on this with a theme focussed on disruptive technologies aimed at improving efficiency and optimisation across the energy sector

The R&D Roadmap set out the Government’s vision for research and development. Our goal is to further strengthen science, research and innovation across the UK, making them central to tackling the major challenges we face, including achieving net zero carbon emissions.

The Government has set out plans at Spending Review to cement the UK’s status as a global leader in science and innovation by investing £14.6 billion in R&D in 2021/22. As the custodian of the R&D system, BEIS has been allocated £11.1bn for R&D in 2021/22.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) will drive the creation of a Digital Research Infrastructure (DRI) with enhanced environmental sustainability that contributes to the UK government’s commitment to Net Zero. DRI comprises the ecosystem of data, computers, software and skills that are necessary for research and innovation. UKRI is developing a coherent national strategy for DRI that meets the requirements of UKRI’s research and innovation communities across disciplines and that will enable UKRI to take account of the environmental impact of its investments and make decisions that are environmentally sustainable in the long term.

Alongside this strategy, UKRI promotes the AREA framework for responsible innovation, prompting researchers and innovators to Anticipate, Reflect, Engage and Act and so consider aspects such as impact of their work on net zero. Other examples of research related responses include:

  • EPSRC has been working with DCMS on a combined telecoms strategy and input into digital standards and with DIT on the global market for UK digital technologies.
  • Continued work with the Royce Institute, Faraday Institute, Turing Institute and centre for research in energy demand solutions will ensure materials, batteries, AI and energy demand research is incorporated into solutions.
  • A priority research area that continues to feature in research investment plans such as the recently closed UKRI Digital Economy call ‘Sustainable Digital Society’.

The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund has ten challenges that directly support the goal of achieving Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050 – from reaching net zero in food production, to pioneering greener ways of flying, to developing the world’s first net-zero carbon industrial cluster by 2040. These represent a total of £1.16 billion in government investment. Prior to Covid-19, industry committed to co-invest £1.32 billion across these challenges.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what his timescale is for the publication of Innovate UK delivery plans for (a) 2021, (b) 2022, and 2023.

Innovate UK’s priorities and delivery plans for the first part of 2021 are included in UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)’s Corporate Plan for 2020-21. In addition to this, UKRI will publish a one-off delivery plan for Innovate UK that will sit alongside the 2021-22 Corporate Plan, based on its current budget allocation. Publication of this delivery plan is anticipated in the spring of 2021.

Publication of future Delivery Plans for 2022-23 are dependent on future budget allocations for Innovate UK.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent steps he has taken to reduce delays to postal services.

The postal service plays an important role in helping to mitigate the impacts of coronavirus on individuals, families, and businesses up and down the country.

Royal Mail, a private company, has well-established contingency plans to mitigate disruption to postal services overseen by Ofcom, the independent regulator. The Government is not involved in the day-to-day operations of the company.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, in the event that the UK's participates in the EU Horizon programme after the transition period, how that participation will be funded.

We have made clear in the R&D Roadmap that we aim to maintain a close and friendly relationship with our European partners, seeking to agree a fair and balanced deal for participation in EU R&D schemes. Negotiations remain ongoing and we will make a final decision once it is clear whether such terms can be reached.

The Government committed in the R&D Roadmap to reaching 2.4% of GDP being spent on R&D across the UK economy by 2027. Investment in R&D will include funding for any continued participation in EU research and innovation Programmes or replacement schemes. The outcome of the Spending Review does not presuppose the outcome of negotiations with the EU.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the November 202 Spending Review, how much of the £15bn committed to R&D has been ring fenced to replace lost funding from EU R&D programmes in 2021-22.

No decision has been made on whether the UK will associate to upcoming EU R&D Programmes as negotiations remain ongoing. Whatever the outcome of negotiations, this government is committed to maintaining and enhancing the UK’s position at the forefront of global science collaboration.

We have made clear in the R&D Roadmap that we aim to maintain a close and friendly relationship with our European partners, seeking to agree a fair and balanced deal for participation in EU R&D schemes. We will make a final decision once it is clear whether such terms can be reached. If we do not associate to Horizon Europe, the Government will implement ambitious alternatives as quickly as possible from January 2021 and address the funding gap.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to increase charitable research and development spending in 2021.

The Government has committed £14.6bn to R&D next year. This funding will support the life sciences sector within which Medical Research Charities operate alongside other research areas.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the Government plans to change its 2.4 per cent of GDP R&D spending target in response to falling GDP.

No, we do not plan to change the 2.4% target and remain committed to increasing UK investment in R&D to 2.4% of GDP by 2027.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the £6 billion announced in the Spending Review 2020 for development and procurement of vaccines is inclusive of existing covid-19 vaccine procurement contracts.

Yes, the £6 billion announced in the Spending Review 2020 for development and procurement of vaccines is inclusive of existing covid-19 vaccine procurement contracts.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the effect of section 790ZG of the Companies Act 2006 on the ability of the Gambling Commission to investigate the ownership of UK casinos.

Section 790ZG of the Companies Act 2006 provides a route for people to apply for their personal details to be withheld from the public register of people with significant control information, where the publication of the person’s link to the company would place the person or their immediate family at risk of harm.

The information is held securely by Companies House and can be accessed by specified public authorities on request. The Gambling Commission are one of the specified public authorities listed under schedule 3 of The Register of People with Significant Control Regulations 2016.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 1 December 2020 to Question 121276, whether he has reached an agreed approach with the Association of Medical Research Charities for supporting research that their members fund.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Department for Health and Social Care regularly discuss the impacts of Covid-19 on charity-funded research with the Association of Medical Research Charities, and we are continuing to engage with them.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what progress he has made in achieving the target of 2.4 per cent of GDP spending on science research; and what proportion of spending since the introduction of that target has been in the (a) public, (b) charity and (c) private sector.

The latest data published by the Office for National Statistics is for 2018, showing UK Gross Expenditure on R&D at 1.71% of GDP, an increase on the previous year’s figure. ONS plans to release data for 2019 in spring 2021.

The Government has set out plans at Spending Review to cement the UK’s status as a global leader in science and innovation by investing £14.6 billion in R&D in 2021/22.

Private investment is a major part of UK R&D spend and leveraging this investment will be key to achieving the 2.4% target. In our R&D Roadmap, published in July 2020, we set out our priorities for boosting R&D across the economy.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what effect the 2020 Spending Review will have on the proportion of GDP spent on research and development.

The Government has set out plans at Spending Review to cement the UK’s status as a global leader in science and innovation by investing £14.6 billion in R&D in 2021/22. This investment supports our commitments set out in the R&D Roadmap and helps consolidate our position as a science superpower as we build towards UK R&D investment of 2.4% of GDP by 2027.

Leveraging investment from the private sector that we will reach the target. By increasing public investment in R&D, we will attract further private sector investment. On average, £1 of public investment in R&D eventually leverages around £2 of additional private sector investment.

The UK already has world-class science and research and is ranked as one of the most innovative countries in the world, investing 1.7% of GDP in 2018. The first figures reflecting the proportion of GDP invested in R&D in 2020 are expected to be released in Spring 2022.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of covid-19 restrictions on trends in the level of small businesses filing for bankruptcy in January 2021; and what steps he taking to help mitigate that effect.

In response to the pandemic, the Government has put in place an unprecedented package of support for businesses, including job support schemes, over £60 billion in grants and loans, and cuts to VAT and business rates relief. The Government has also introduced temporary measures in the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act to support businesses to keep going through the pandemic, including restricting the use of statutory demands and company winding-up petitions, and suspending the wrongful trading provisions.

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) judged, in its recent Economic and Fiscal Outlook, that these measures, together with forbearance on the part of creditors, have helped to reduce the number of insolvencies so far this year by almost a third compared to 2019. The Government has recently extended its package of support measures through to March 2021 to continue to support businesses as the economy emerges from the pandemic.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish the independent technical assessment carried out by the UK Space Agency into the investment in OneWeb.

Due to commercial sensitivities, the Government will not be able to publish the advice used by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State in making the decision to purchase OneWeb.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to encourage research and clinical trials in non-covid related medical research.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer I gave her on 27th October 2020 to Question 106333.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 20 October 2020 to Question 102796 on Horizon Europe: Finance, how his Department will calculate the funding gap in the event that the UK does not participate in EU research projects after the transition period.

Negotiations to associate to the EU R&D programmes, Horizon Europe and Euratom R&T, are ongoing. If we do not associate to Horizon Europe, we have committed to meet any funding shortfalls and put in place alternative schemes. In that case, any assessment of the funding gap would need to take account of the outcome of discussions on the EU budget and the Horizon Europe Programme regulations, which are still being finalised.

UK funding for EU programmes, or for alternatives would also be subject to allocations at the Spending Review.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 23 October 2020 to Question 106337 on Research and Universities: Equality, what positive steps UKRI has taken to increase diversity in the peer review processes and advisory groups.

As a steward of the research and innovation system, UKRI’s ambition is to nurture and support its communities recognising and valuing everyone in it. Evidence, diversity data and insight underpin UKRI’s approach to enable a dynamic, diverse and inclusive research and innovation system in the UK that is an integral part of society, giving everyone the opportunity to participate and to benefit.

UKRI are continuously working to improve our appointments process for advisory and peer review bodies to encourage a more diverse set of applicants and proactively include statements in adverts to increase representation for those that are under-represented on our councils and advisory boards. Additionally, within peer review UKRI aim to select as broad an expertise as possible, in terms of disciplinary background, career paths, ethnicity, diversity and inclusion, as well as host organisation.

UKRI undertake Equality Impact Assessments for our funding opportunities. UKRI have reviewed and made changes to their peer review processes in recent years to safeguard the process, including principles of fair peer review (https://www.ukri.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/UKRI-07102020-PrinciplesofAssessmentandDecisionMaking.pdf), and providing training to reduce the likelihood of bias in decision making.

UKRI continue to explore the use of new tools to broaden the pool of potential people to act as reviewers. The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Inclusion Matters portfolio of 11 EDI projects includes work looking at the peer review process.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to his Department's Notice on Sustaining University Research Expertise (SURE) package, updated on 6 November 2020, what formula will be used to calculate the potential losses in international student income.

The updated Notice published on 6th November on the Sustaining University Research Expertise Fund (SURE) set out further details on the Fund, including the formula for calculating allocations, conditions of funding and next steps. This included confirmation that these losses from international student fees is being calculated. Calculations would be made using forecast data as at 30 October 2020, provided through the recent interim financial data collection exercise undertaken by the Office for Students, and equivalent processes in Wales and Scotland, compared against academic year (AY) 2018-19 baseline data.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the British Business Bank report on entrepreneurship and diversity in the UK; and if he will publish the recommendations of that report.

We are grateful to the British Business Bank for launching the ‘Alone together: Entrepreneurship and diversity in the UK’ report. The report is published in full and we are working with the British Business Bank to understand how to better address the challenges faced by BAME and women-led businesses. Government always welcomes input to ensure our support benefits these communities.

A diverse and inclusive finance ecosystem is good for entrepreneurs, companies, investors, and the society as a whole. Therefore, all of the Government’s business support schemes are open to eligible businesses from all regions and backgrounds, including BAME and female entrepreneurs. The Government will continue to monitor the implementation and take up of the schemes, working with investors, lenders, representative groups across the industry and the British Business Bank.

We are working with the private sector to deliver the eight initiatives of the Rose Review. Great progress has been made over the past year with NatWest and Be the Business jointly launching the Rose Review Female Entrepreneurs Mentoring Programme soon on 27 October.

More widely, the Government has set an ambition of 20,000 start-up loans being issued to Black and Minority Ethnic applicants by the end of this parliament. Of all the start-up loans issued up to September 2020, 16,159 loans (21% of lending) was issued to entrepreneurs from a BAME background and around 30,000 loans, worth over £239m, were issued to female entrepreneurs.

The Department’s Ministerial team is also actively engaging with entrepreneurs from the BAME business community to better understand their concerns, including access to finance, and has undertaken 10 engagements since March 2020.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the upcoming one year Spending Review will provide funding for (a) a UK replacement for Horizon Europe, (b) the new Office for Talent, (c) the new Innovation Expert Group, (d) schemes to promote diversity within STEM and (e) implementing the findings from the R&D tax credits consultation; and what the timeframe is for publishing long term funding strategies for those projects.

At the 2020 Budget, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced the Government’s ambitious commitment to increase public spending in research and development to £22 billion by 24/25, putting the UK on track to reach 2.4% of GDP being spent on research and development across the UK economy by 2027.

In order to prioritise the response to Covid-19, and our focus on supporting jobs, the Chancellor and my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister have decided to conduct a one-year Spending Review, setting departments’ resource and capital budgets for 2021-22, and Devolved Administrations’ block grants for the same period. This Spending Review will be delivered on 25th November.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he takes to assess the effectiveness of UK research bodies and university departments in working to and achieving gender diversity.

Government recognises the importance of having a research system that values and recognises all and is committed to addressing under-representation and inequalities including those around gender, disability and ethnicity. UKRI publishes comprehensive annual data on success rates for grant applications, fellowships and PhD starts for these characteristics and has taken positive steps to increase diversity in the peer review processes and advisory groups that decide on these.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the UK skill base for recycling and disposal of lithium ion batteries; and what plans the Government has to manage demand for those services.

To maximise on the economic and environmental opportunities of a transition to zero emission vehicles, the UK Government is supporting the creation of a circular economy for electric vehicle batteries.

The future demand for the recycling and disposal of lithium ion batteries and the UK skills base in this area has been assessed by Government and research into battery re-cycling, and the large scale industrialisation, is currently being undertaken.

To support this vital work, we have committed £318m to the Faraday Battery Challenge to fund the research, development and scale-up of world-leading battery technology in the UK. The innovation strand of the Faraday Battery Challenge is supporting several business-led collaborative R&D projects on reuse and recycle of electric vehicle batteries.

Policy is being formulated based on this research and Government is committed to building on the Faraday research programmes to ensure that we meet the skills and demand required to support this growing industry.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when the £18.5 million funding for Imperial College London for phase three covid-19 vaccine trials announced on 17 May 2020 was disbursed; and whether any conditions were attached to that funding.

The Government has funded early clinical trials for the Imperial vaccine which began in June 2020 and continue.

The £18.5 million for further large scale studies for 2.5 million people has not yet been disbursed, as those studies cannot be undertaken until the ongoing phase 1 clinical trials, future phase 2 efficacy trials and other criteria have proven successful and regulatory approvals have been secured for human deployment of the vaccine.

Any further investment decisions will be made in due course as necessary.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much the Government has spent on developing a sovereign Global Navigation Satellite System since 2018; and what the breakdown of that spending is.

The 18 month UK Global Navigation Satellite System Programme successfully concluded its work to develop outline proposals for a conventional satellite navigation system in September. £92m was originally allocated for the UK GNSS Programme and work has concluded successfully under budget. Much of the work was covered by Non-Disclosure Agreements and, for reasons of both commercial and national security sensitivities, it is not possible to offer a detailed breakdown of that spending for both inside and outside the UK.

Work completed by the UK Space Agency so far has developed cutting edge British expertise in areas such as spacecraft and antenna design, satellite and ground control systems, systems engineering and simulation, which have wider applications across the space sector, in addition to supporting specialist UK jobs and industrial GNSS capability.

The new Space Based PNT Programme will carry forward this work to consider newer, more innovative ideas of delivering global ‘sat nav’ and secure satellite services to meet public, government and industry needs.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much has been spent from the public purse on contracts with companies based outside the UK for development of a satellite system to replace Galileo.

The 18 month UK Global Navigation Satellite System Programme successfully concluded its work to develop outline proposals for a conventional satellite navigation system in September. £92m was originally allocated for the UK GNSS Programme and work has concluded successfully under budget. Much of the work was covered by Non-Disclosure Agreements and, for reasons of both commercial and national security sensitivities, it is not possible to offer a detailed breakdown of that spending for both inside and outside the UK.

Work completed by the UK Space Agency so far has developed cutting edge British expertise in areas such as spacecraft and antenna design, satellite and ground control systems, systems engineering and simulation, which have wider applications across the space sector, in addition to supporting specialist UK jobs and industrial GNSS capability.

The new Space Based PNT Programme will carry forward this work to consider newer, more innovative ideas of delivering global ‘sat nav’ and secure satellite services to meet public, government and industry needs.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to encourage research and clinical trials in non-covid related research.

The Government funds research and clinical trials through UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), and we have put a large focus on research into COVID-19 to tackle the immediate crisis.

The NIHR baseline budget for 2020/21 is set at £1,090 million excluding Official Development Assistance funding. In addition, there will be a number of in-year budget adjustments/transfers and funding contributions from the Devolved Administrations and other funders that have yet to be finalised but will at current estimates exceed £50 million. NIHR expects to spend its budget in full and a significant proportion of this spend will be on funding or supporting clinical trials funded by other research funders

However, the Government’s long-term objectives for R&D are clear: to invest in the science and research that will deliver economic growth and societal benefits across the UK for decades to come, and to build the foundations for the new industries of tomorrow.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he his Department will publish a long-term strategy for encouraging people from under represented groups to pursue career in STEM.

The Research and Development Roadmap published by BEIS this summer set out the UK’s vision and ambition for science, research and innovation. To realise this ambition we need to ensure all people, regardless of background, have the opportunity to study STEM subjects and aspire to careers in science and engineering. The forthcoming People and Culture Strategy for Research will set out how Government will support the sector in developing a research culture that is welcoming to those from under-represented groups.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
16th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of (a) when the not for profit price commitment made by AstraZeneca as part of the deal with Oxford University to develop a covid-19 vaccine will expire and (b) the effect of the expiration of that commitment on the affordability of that vaccine for the NHS.

The timings of the not for profit price commitment are for the two parties involved, AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford to agree.

The NHS is preparing for the initial deployment of a safe, effective COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
16th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the recall of undistributed covid-19 business support grants provided to Newcastle City Council.

The Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF), the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund (RHLGF) and the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund (LADGF) were part of an unprecedented package of support for businesses in recognition of the disruption caused by Covid-19. My department worked with HM Treasury on the design and delivery of these funds.

We have been clear with local authorities throughout that any unspent funds would need to be returned to the Exchequer. The schemes closed on 28th August 2020, with all payments made by 30th Sept. Local authorities have now received guidance on the reconciliation process.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the number of businesses unable to access the bounce back loan scheme due to their bank not participating in that scheme; and what steps he is taking to help businesses access that scheme.

As of 20th September, 1,260,940 applications have been approved for Bounce Back loans, at a value of £38.02bn.

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme is currently being delivered through 28 accredited lenders, including several non-banks and alternative lenders. If a business is unable to access the scheme because their bank is not a participant or is unable to process their application, they may also consider approaching other Scheme accredited providers.

Several lenders are allowing applications from new customers. The Government have always made clear to lenders that they should open to new customers as soon as it is operationally possible for them to do so.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of the installation of automated parcel sorting machines at Royal Mail centres on jobs.

The installation of automated sorting machines is an operational matter for Royal Mail, a private company.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reason UK applicants have been excluded from submitting to the EU Research Fund for Coal and Steel during the transition period.

The Government recognises the importance of research and development (R&D) in helping to transform the steel sector so that it can play a vital role within our modern Industrial Strategy.

Agreement has been reached that UK participants engaged in ongoing Research Fund for Coal and Steel (RFCS) projects will continue to be funded until completion. However, the Commission has informed UK participants in consortia that are bidding for funding this year, that they will not be eligible to receive RFCS funding. This is because the resulting grant contracts are due to be signed in April to June 2021, after the end of the transition period established in the Withdrawal Agreement.

Leaving the EU provides us with the opportunity to focus our investment on our own priorities. This includes the Government’s commitment to invest £22 billion in R&D by 2024/2025, which is a record increase in R&D spending. We have also announced a £250 million investment towards a Clean Steel Fund, complemented by a £100 million Low Carbon Hydrogen Production Fund, to support decarbonisation and make the most of the clean growth opportunities in steel.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much funding he plans to allocate to alternative schemes in the event that the UK does not participate in the Horizon Europe scheme.

The Government is committed to keeping the UK at the forefront of globally collaborative research and innovation. If we do not associate to Horizon Europe, we will implement alternatives as quickly as possible from January 2021 and address the funding gap. The Government has committed to raising public investment in R&D to £22 billion per year by 2024/25. This will include funding for any continued participation in EU science programmes or EU replacement schemes.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much funding he plans to make available in grants during the second stage of the university covid-19 research support package that was announced in June 2020.

The amount of grant funding provided under the Sustaining University Research Excellence (SURE) fund will depend on income losses which at this point remain unclear - each university’s allocation is the lower of 80% of losses in international student income or the value of non-public research funding.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much funding from the public purse has been allocated to dementia research in 2020.

The Government is implementing the Challenge on Dementia 2020 published in February 2015 to make sure that dementia care, support, awareness and research are transformed by 2020. The Challenge is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/prime-ministers-challenge-on-dementia-2020

We are updating the strategy and will be setting out our plans on dementia for England for future years in due course.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Department of Health and Social Care have spent £341 million between 2015 and by March 2019, funding for 2020 is unavailable.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many of the advance purchases of covid-19 vaccines have been bought from manufacturers based in the UK.

The UK Government has secured access to two vaccines being manufactured in the UK:

  • 100 million doses of the vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca.
  • 60 million doses of the vaccine being developed by GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi Pasteur.

The UK Government has also secured access to the vaccine being developed by Valneva, who are based in France but will manufacture the vaccine in Scotland.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of whether there are any supply chain problems in vaccine development programmes at UK research institutions.

The Vaccines Taskforce, in collaboration with the Department for Health & Social Care and Public Health England, are working to ensure supply chain resilience for the manufacture and delivery of all potential COVID-19 vaccine candidates, including those where UK research institutions are involved.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department plans to consult on the introduction of a UK equivalent to the US Sarbanes-Oxley Act 2002.

The Independent Review of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) recommended that consideration be given to the case for a strengthened internal control framework, learning any relevant lessons from operation of the Sarbanes-Oxley regime in the US. Sir Donald Brydon’s review of the quality and effectiveness of audit also made suggestions for enhancing the role of the board and the auditor in a strengthened internal control system.

The Government will publish and seek views on its proposals on audit reform in due course, including in response to these particular recommendations. The Government has been working closely with the FRC in developing these proposals.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the Financial Reporting Council on the potential scope of a UK equivalent to the US Sarbanes-Oxley Act 2002; and if he will publish his strategy for audit reform.

The Independent Review of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) recommended that consideration be given to the case for a strengthened internal control framework, learning any relevant lessons from operation of the Sarbanes-Oxley regime in the US. Sir Donald Brydon’s review of the quality and effectiveness of audit also made suggestions for enhancing the role of the board and the auditor in a strengthened internal control system.

The Government will publish and seek views on its proposals on audit reform in due course, including in response to these particular recommendations. The Government has been working closely with the FRC in developing these proposals.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 2 October 2020 to Question 95073, how many of those applications that were rejected as a result of the applicant entering an incorrect start date were from the North East.

One of the twenty-seven applications rejected as a result of the applicant entering an incorrect start date were from the North East.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what research the Medical Research Council is funding into diffuse midline glioma.

The Medical Research Council (MRC) is currently funding research relevant to Diffuse Midline Glioma (also previously known as Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG)) and Glioma research more widely. This includes research at the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Edinburgh investigating cell-specific Polycomb Repressive Complex (PRC) Accessory proteins and the regulation of mammalian neurodevelopment. Mutations that block PRC activity occur in the majority of cases of DIPG. This research will help to understand the molecular basis of brain development and underlying deficits in developmental brain disorders. In addition, researchers at the University of Leeds are looking into the stem cell origins of brain tumours containing non-neural cells, such as glia; defining the cell types driving the formation of tumours will enable more effective design of therapeutic interventions in the future.

The MRC also supports a broader portfolio of research relating to brain tumours that may help to improve our understanding of this particular condition and inform future research and potential treatments. The MRC recently coordinated a brain tumour workshop, in collaboration with the British Neurosciences Association and the Brain Tumour Research Charity, to facilitate increased engagement between the cancer and neuroscience communities and stimulate research submissions.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
24th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many applications to Innovate UK's iSustainable Innovation Fund (temporary framework), round 2, were rejected because the applicant entered the wrong start date.

Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, is investing up to £26 million to fund single and collaborative research and development projects as part of The Sustainable Innovation Fund. The aim of this competition is to help all sectors of the UK rebuild after the effects of COVID-19.

The number of applicants to Innovate UK’s Sustainable Innovation Fund (temporary framework), round 2 (De Minimis) is 1161. Twenty-seven of these were rejected for assessment because the applicant entered an ineligible start date.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
24th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many applications to Innovate UK's iSustainable Innovation Fund (temporary framework), round 2, came from each region; how many such applications were successful in each such region; and what the value was of funding awarded to each region in that round.

The number of applications to Innovate UK's Sustainable Innovation Fund (temporary framework), round 2 (De Minimis) based on the applicants specified work address from each region is indicated in the table below.

Region

Number of applications

1. Scotland

77

2. Northern Ireland

20

3. Wales

27

4. North East

15

5. North West

95

6. Yorkshire and the Humber

50

7. West Midlands

66

8. East Midlands

54

9. South West

122

10. South East

180

11. East of England

83

12. Greater London

372

Information on success rates at this stage is currently unavailable. This is because the competition closed to applications on the 2nd September 2020 and bids are currently in the process of being assessed.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the average time from application to funding decision is for British Patient Capital.

As part of the Patient Capital Review, the Government consulted on potential barriers to accessing finance and the means to overcome them. Following the review’s conclusion in November 2017, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced an action plan to unlock over £20 billion to finance growth in innovative firms over 10 years. The plan included additional resources for the British Business Bank, and the creation of its commercial subsidiary, British Patient Capital.

Established in 2018, British Patient Capital builds on over a decade of investing £1bn in venture and venture growth capital funds. Several of these funds are now major names in UK venture, and many of the British Patient Capital team bring with them the experience, knowledge and relationships gained working in predecessor programmes. These relationships and British Patient Capital’s reputation allow it to see and take advantage of opportunities others may not. British Patient Capital predominantly invests as a Limited Partner investor.

At the end of the last financial year, British Patient Capital’s portfolio consisted of 31 fund investments, with total commitments approaching £600m, making British Patient Capital the largest domestic investor in this asset class in the UK. Page 21 of British Patient Capital’s Annual Report and Accounts 2019 provides a sectoral breakdown and is available here: https://annualreport2019.britishpatientcapital.co.uk/assets/uploads/BPC_Annual_Report_2019.pdf.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps British Patient Capital is taking to ensure that the venture capital funds it invests in are supporting UK businesses to reach their potential.

As part of the Patient Capital Review, the Government consulted on potential barriers to accessing finance and the means to overcome them. Following the review’s conclusion in November 2017, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced an action plan to unlock over £20 billion to finance growth in innovative firms over 10 years. The plan included additional resources for the British Business Bank, and the creation of its commercial subsidiary, British Patient Capital.

Established in 2018, British Patient Capital builds on over a decade of investing £1bn in venture and venture growth capital funds. Several of these funds are now major names in UK venture, and many of the British Patient Capital team bring with them the experience, knowledge and relationships gained working in predecessor programmes. These relationships and British Patient Capital’s reputation allow it to see and take advantage of opportunities others may not. British Patient Capital predominantly invests as a Limited Partner investor.

At the end of the last financial year, British Patient Capital’s portfolio consisted of 31 fund investments, with total commitments approaching £600m, making British Patient Capital the largest domestic investor in this asset class in the UK. Page 21 of British Patient Capital’s Annual Report and Accounts 2019 provides a sectoral breakdown and is available here: https://annualreport2019.britishpatientcapital.co.uk/assets/uploads/BPC_Annual_Report_2019.pdf.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps British Patient Capital is taking to ensure that the venture capital funds it invests in are supporting UK businesses to avoid premature sale.

As part of the Patient Capital Review, the Government consulted on potential barriers to accessing finance and the means to overcome them. Following the review’s conclusion in November 2017, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced an action plan to unlock over £20 billion to finance growth in innovative firms over 10 years. The plan included additional resources for the British Business Bank, and the creation of its commercial subsidiary, British Patient Capital.

Established in 2018, British Patient Capital builds on over a decade of investing £1bn in venture and venture growth capital funds. Several of these funds are now major names in UK venture, and many of the British Patient Capital team bring with them the experience, knowledge and relationships gained working in predecessor programmes. These relationships and British Patient Capital’s reputation allow it to see and take advantage of opportunities others may not. British Patient Capital predominantly invests as a Limited Partner investor.

At the end of the last financial year, British Patient Capital’s portfolio consisted of 31 fund investments, with total commitments approaching £600m, making British Patient Capital the largest domestic investor in this asset class in the UK. Page 21 of British Patient Capital’s Annual Report and Accounts 2019 provides a sectoral breakdown and is available here: https://annualreport2019.britishpatientcapital.co.uk/assets/uploads/BPC_Annual_Report_2019.pdf.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much money British Patient Capital has deployed by sector to date.

As part of the Patient Capital Review, the Government consulted on potential barriers to accessing finance and the means to overcome them. Following the review’s conclusion in November 2017, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced an action plan to unlock over £20 billion to finance growth in innovative firms over 10 years. The plan included additional resources for the British Business Bank, and the creation of its commercial subsidiary, British Patient Capital.

Established in 2018, British Patient Capital builds on over a decade of investing £1bn in venture and venture growth capital funds. Several of these funds are now major names in UK venture, and many of the British Patient Capital team bring with them the experience, knowledge and relationships gained working in predecessor programmes. These relationships and British Patient Capital’s reputation allow it to see and take advantage of opportunities others may not. British Patient Capital predominantly invests as a Limited Partner investor.

At the end of the last financial year, British Patient Capital’s portfolio consisted of 31 fund investments, with total commitments approaching £600m, making British Patient Capital the largest domestic investor in this asset class in the UK. Page 21 of British Patient Capital’s Annual Report and Accounts 2019 provides a sectoral breakdown and is available here: https://annualreport2019.britishpatientcapital.co.uk/assets/uploads/BPC_Annual_Report_2019.pdf.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that innovative UK companies can access the scale-up capital from (a) pension funds and (b) other sources of funding that they need to grow in the UK.

Building on the success of our £20 billion Patient Capital action plan (announced at Autumn Budget 2017), the Government and regulators have brought forward measures to help ensure the UK’s regulatory environment enables Defined Contribution pension schemes to invest as appropriate in innovative, growing companies. Key actions include:

  • In March 2020, the Financial Conduct Authority updated their rules governing contract-based pensions investment in illiquid assets, which facilitate investment while ensuring effective consumer protection.
  • In September 2020, DWP issued a consultation setting out new arrangements for calculating fees against the charge cap.
  • Through the Asset Management Taskforce, the Treasury has been working closely with the industry to explore the feasibility of a long-term asset fund.
  • A joint Oliver Wyman and British Business Bank report exploring the case for defined contribution (DC) pension scheme investment in venture capital and growth equity.

In addition, the British Business Bank works to unlock long-term patient finance. Since the Government’s response to the 2017 Patient Capital Review, the British Business Bank (BBB) has launched the £2.5bn British Patient Capital (BPC) Programme and the £500mn Managed Funds programme to boost the amount of institutional capital, including from pensions funds, into UK's venture and growth capital markets and channel these funds towards innovative, high-growth businesses and scale-ups.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 11 September 2020 to Question 84242 on Coronavirus: Vaccination, if he will list those six supply agreements.

The UK Government has secured early access to 340 million vaccines doses through agreements with six separate vaccine developers. This includes agreements with:

  • BioNTech/Pfizer for 30 million doses.
  • Oxford/AstraZeneca who will work to supply 100 million doses of the vaccine being developed by Oxford University.
  • GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi Pasteur to buy 60 million doses.
  • Novavax for 60 million doses alongside funding of their Phase 3 clinical trial.
  • Janssen for 30 million doses of their not-for-profit vaccine.
  • Valneva for 60 million doses, with an option to acquire a further 130 million if the vaccine is proven to be safe, effective and suitable.
Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
3rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will introduce an appeals process for people released from employment without their company first applying for the furlough scheme.

Whilst we have encouraged companies to make use of the coronavirus job retention scheme (CJRS) and avoid making redundancies, there was no requirement that employers participate in the scheme as employers are best equipped to decide whether or not they furlough their employees. An appeals process would not be appropriate given the voluntary nature of the scheme.

The legislation makes clear that any redundancy and dismissal process should be fair and reasonable. Employees with the necessary qualifying service who believe that they have been unfairly dismissed, or that the dismissal was unfair in some other way, may be able to complain to an employment tribunal.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the level of funding for the Charity Research Support Fund in 2021.

We are aware of the impact of Covid-19 on the university research sector and charity research organisations. On 27 June we announced a support package that will help protect science jobs and enable universities to continue research and innovation activities including those funded by charities.

From the Autumn, the Government will provide a package consisting of low-interest loans with long pay-back periods, supplemented by a small amount of government grants, to cover up to 80% of a university’s income losses from international students for the academic year 2020/21, up to the value of their non-publicly funded research activity, including from charities. Universities will be asked to demonstrate how these funds are being utilised to sustain research in areas typically funded by charities and business, for example to protect areas of medical research that have been developed in part with support of charities.

We continue to engage with the sector on ensuring the long-term sustainability of charity funded research in universities. As part of this BEIS and DHSC officials are also meeting regularly with the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) and with individual medical research charities.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the cost to the public purse has been of the advance purchase of covid-19 vaccines.

Due to commercial sensitivity, details of the six supply agreements that have and are being negotiated cannot be provided.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of pursuant to the Answer of 23 July 2020 to Question 74577 on OneWeb, if the Government will publish the advice referred to in that Answer that it received prior to making the decision to purchase OneWeb.

Due to commercial concerns, the Government will not be able to publish the advice used by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State in making the decision to purchase OneWeb.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, from which area of his Departmental budget will the funding for the acquisition of OneWeb be allocated from.

The budget for OneWeb will be allocated through the 2020-21 Supplementary Estimate and considered as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review 2020 process.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference his Department's Policy paper UK Research and Development Roadmap, published on 1 July 2020, what the timetable is for appointments to be made to the Innovation Expert Group.

The Innovation Expert Group will comprise people with the deep knowledge, experience and clear vision to help advise on innovation, drawing from industry, public services, the investment community and across the relevant disciplines of the research community.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 24 July 2020 to Question 76019 on Postgraduate Education: Equality, (a) when and (b) how regularly the Government plans to publish diversity statistics for the UK’s research sector.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) monitors diversity data of the research and innovation funded through the research councils, Innovate UK and Research England. UKRI published its first set of harmonised diversity data for all seven research councils for the past five academic years in July 2020 and are committed to publishing diversity data annually. The next harmonised diversity data release is scheduled for early 2021.

UKRI are also committed to expanding their data collection and analysis capabilities including of grants funded by Innovate UK, and publishing other diversity data more regularly, such as the detailed ethnicity analysis of grant applications due to be published in Autumn 2020.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what funding has been made available from the public purse to support multi-partner collaborative research projects during the covid-19 outbreak.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), has committed more than £95 million to new research aimed at tackling COVID-19 and repurposed research grants of £80 million to address the effects of the pandemic. This includes projects supported by the UKRI call launched in March 2020 for short-term projects (up to 18 months) addressing the health, social, economic, cultural and environmental impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak - these calls were open to collaborations across disciplines and sectors.

Recognising the global nature of the virus and the UK’s obligation to the world’s poorest under our ODA commitments, funding has been mobilised to support COVID research in Lower- and Middle-Income Countries. BEIS, through UKRI, has launched a joint Newton Fund-Global Challenges Research Fund agile call, amounting to £7.5 million. The call aims to help tackle the outbreak across developing countries where communities are already vulnerable due to long-term conflict, food and water shortages, and crowded living conditions.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 6 July to Question 66860, what discussions his Department has had with Airbus on its plans to continue to manufacture OneWeb satellites at its Florida plant; and whether he is taking steps to encourage the transfer of OneWeb manufacturing jobs to the UK.

There have been discussions with Airbus, but these are of a commercially sensitive nature.

The agreement we have secured with Bharti secures 70 existing UK jobs in OneWeb, and we will be using our position to encourage expansion of its supply chain in the UK.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what support is available for early career researchers who are unable to finish their research projects before the extension for UKRI-funded PhD students expires.

On 9 April, it was announced that UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) will offer a costed extension of up to six months for UKRI PhD students due to complete by 31 March 2021 whose study has been impacted by the pandemic. This includes 6,334 of 22,065 current UKRI-funded doctoral students. Those UKRI-funded students not in their final year may be granted extensions on a case by case basis.

On 24 April, UKRI issued detailed guidance to universities on how the policy should be implemented. UKRI has outlined that universities must put in place processes that are based upon the principles of ensuring all UKRI doctoral students are supported to complete their projects and that they should be treated fairly, generously and sympathetically given the disruptions caused to research programmes and individual’s personal circumstances. Guidance is available here https://www.ukri.org/files/news/implementation-guidance-training-grant-holders/

UK Research and Innovation is engaging with the wider sector about the implementation of the extension and to identify and understand future impact, including the numbers of students it funds that are affected. The extension will be reviewed in four months’ time to ensure that any further impacts to doctoral training are?taken into account.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what support the Government makes available to help post-doctoral researchers who have left research return to the profession.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer I gave her on 27 July 2020 to Question 76033.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government is taking to support the research priorities of SMEs.

The Government has committed to increasing UK investment in science, innovation and technology to 2.4% of GDP by 2027. In order to achieve this target, the Government has set out plans for public investment in R&D to reach £22 billion by 2024/25, a record increase in spending.

We are implementing the ambitious R&D Roadmap, to ensure the UK is the best place in the world for scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs to live and work, while helping to power up the UK’s economic and social recovery and level up the UK.

Businesses are the foundation of our economy and ensuring that they?can continue to develop the new products and services our society will?need is crucial.? We will provide a comprehensive environment that can build on UK strengths. This will allow SMEs and industry to grow and flourish, attract international R&D investment and talent to the UK.

For innovative SMEs, a £750 million package of support including targeted grants and loans is available, delivered by Innovate UK.

We will also continue to foster collaborations between business and R&D infrastructures , including through the network of?Catapult?Centres which were established to commercialise new and emerging technologies in areas where there are large global market opportunities. ? Since their inception, catapults have supported nearly 6,000 SMEs. Over the next five years?our investment will allow the Catapult network to continue to help thousands of businesses across the UK undertake cutting-edge R&D.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, on how many occasions he has issued a Ministerial direction to his Department in the last 5 years.

Since its formation on 14 July 2016, the Department has received 11 Ministerial Directions.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department has taken to support Global Challenges Research Fund funding projects which have had to halt research projects due to the covid-19 outbreak.

BEIS is working closely with our Global Challenges Research Fund delivery partners to ensure the impacts of Covid-19 are minimised as far as possible. In some cases this will result in extensions to grants enabling valuable research which has been delayed due to the pandemic to be completed.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with the (a) Foreign Secretary and (b) Chancellor of the Exchequer on the effect of covid-19 on the budget for the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF).

As with all Government Departments, BEIS has had to adjust our allocation of ODA funding in response to the predicted fall in Gross National Income during 2020. The impacts of this adjustment on the Global Challenges Research Fund were discussed with both HM Treasury and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office during the process of agreeing the overall savings.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has made an assessment of the implications for his policies of the 22 July 2020 Wellcome Trust proposals on aspects of UK participation in Horizon Europe.

The UK is open to associate to Horizon Europe, if a fair and balanced deal can be agreed. We will make a final decision once it is clear whether such terms can be reached. Any agreements relating to EU programmes should contain fair terms for UK participation.

BEIS regularly meets with stakeholders, including Wellcome, to hear their views on a wide range of research and innovation issues such as participation in Horizon Europe. These views are considered as part of the policy making process.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 21 July 2020 to Question 75291 on Charities: Research, what recent assessment the Government has made of the (a) effectiveness of the contributions of the Charity Research Support Fund and (b) effect of the covid-19 outbreak on its level of funding.

Charity research funding is a vital component of the research funding landscape for universities, providing some 12% of total research income in 2018-19, and the charity research support element is a vital component in ensuring that universities are able to accept that funding. The charity research support element recognises that charities sponsor high-value research in universities, bringing benefits to scientific discovery and society, but that charities do not always meet the full costs of that research. According to data collected by the Office for Students using the Transparent Approach to Costing (TRAC) methodology research charities funded 59% of the full economic cost of the research they supported in UK universities. The charity research support element of block grant funding (£204 million in England, with equivalent sums in the rest of the UK) provides a further contribution of around 10% of the full economic cost.

A significant proportion of charity funding supports health research. The UK Health Research Analysis[1] concludes that charities provided £1.11 billion in funding for health research in 2018, 44% of the total. The impact and benefits of the medical research funded by charities and supported by UKRI’s charity research support are set out in the 2019 Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) report Making a Difference[2], while the 2018 Wellcome Trust report Empowering UK Universities[3] uses cases studies to show the importance of QR funding, which includes charity research support.

Charities are anticipating a sizeable reduction in their income as a result of the pandemic, which will impact significantly on charity-funded research. The AMRC reports that its members project an average 41% decrease in their medical research spend over the next year, while 40 per cent of charities responding to its survey of members stated that half their clinical trials might be unable to restart. In April Cancer Research UK, one of the largest funders of charity research, announced a cut in research funding and stated that that no new research projects will be funded for at least the first six months of this financial year.

The size of the charity research support element does not depend upon the level of charity funding. Therefore, as the level of charity research funding falls, the charity research support element of block grant funding will cover a greater proportion of the full economic cost of charity-funded research at universities.


[1] https://hrcsonline.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/UK-Health-Research-Analysis-2018-for-web-v1-28Jan2020.pdf

[2] https://www.amrc.org.uk/making-a-difference-impact-report-2019

[3] https://wellcome.ac.uk/sites/default/files/empowering-uk-universities-how-strategic-institutional-support-helps-research-thrive.pdf

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the Chair of the independent Horizon enquiry will have the power to review the awards of compensation made to date.

The comprehensive settlement to the group litigation was agreed by both parties following a number of days of confidential mediation, of which Government was not a party. Following the settlement, the Post Office has also announced a scheme which aims to address historic shortfalls for postmasters who were not part of the Group Litigation.

The Government is committed to establishing an independent review to consider whether the Post Office has learned the necessary lessons from the Horizon dispute and court case.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, where vaccine doses purchased in the agreements with (a) BioNTech and (b) Pfizer will be manufactured.

BioNTech and Pfizer have come together to develop a vaccine based on BioNTech’s proprietary mRNA technology and supported by Pfizer’s global vaccine development and manufacturing capabilities. A deal to supply 30m doses to the UK was announced 20 July 2020. As commercial negotiations are still ongoing around the vaccine agreements at this time, the Government is not able to confirm manufacturing and supply arrangements at present.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many UK-based jobs will be created in the vaccine manufacturing supply chain in response to covid-19.

No such assessment has been made, however this Government has already taken action?to scale up UK vaccine manufacturing capabilities, so that if and when a vaccine is found, it can be manufactured and made available to the public as quickly as possible.?This includes funding to accelerate and expand the new Vaccine Manufacturing & Innovation Centre, bring online a Rapid Deployment Facility and a new state-of-the-art centre to scale up?COVID-19 vaccine and gene therapy manufacturing.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether evidence received by Parliamentary Ombudsman on the Government's handling of the Horizon issue can be considered by the Independent review into the Post Office Ltd Horizon IT system.

The Government is in the process of setting up an Independent Review to look into the Horizon dispute and court case to ensure lessons are learned for the future.

The Parliamentary Ombudsman operates independently from Government. Should it decide to open its own inquiry into Post Office Ltd. and the Horizon operating system, it will be a matter for the Parliamentary Ombudsman to decide whether it can, and if so should, share evidence it receives with the Independent Review.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what his plans are for the (a) governance arrangements and (b) board representation for the Government's equity share in OneWeb.

As a shareholder in OneWeb, we will have strong representation on the Board and be fully involved in setting the strategic direction of the business. We will also have a special share that will allow the UK government to have a final say over any future sale of the company, and over future access to OneWeb technology by other countries on national security grounds.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Government's acquisition of an equity share in OneWeb, who will develop the go-to-market strategy for each region that OneWeb operates in; and what assessment he has made of the extent that OneWeb is dependent on (a) broadband and (b) GPS services for revenues.

As a shareholder in OneWeb, we will have strong representation on the Board and be fully involved in setting the strategic direction of the business. The current generation of?OneWeb?satellites deliver?satellite communications services and, we are currently assessing the wider use?of their capabilities. Dedicated work is ongoing across Government to determine the UK’s positioning, navigation and timing requirements and assess options for meeting them.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 6 July 2020 to Question 66860, what discussions have been held with Airbus on their plans to manufacture OneWeb satellites at the Florida plant; and what steps he is taking to encourage OneWeb manufacturing jobs to move to the UK.

The agreement we have secured with Bharti secures 70 existing UK jobs in OneWeb, and we will be using our position to encourage expansion of its supply chain in the UK and direct manufacturing here.

There have been discussions with Airbus, but these are of a commercially sensitive nature.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to encourage former post-doctoral researchers return to the profession.

As set out in our R&D Roadmap, we want to ensure a strong offer to attract those with the most talent and potential, and so alongside the new Office for Talent and visa reform, we will be reviewing the talent offer across all career stages to make sure that the coverage and attractiveness of programmes is among the best in the world. We will identify actions we can take to increase support for early career researchers, giving them the skills, knowledge and experience needed to progress their careers inside or outside academia.

Schemes funded by Government take career breaks and requirements for flexible working, into account. This includes UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) Future Leaders Fellowships and the Royal Society’s University Research Fellowships. UKRI also works with the Daphne Jackson Trust, supporting fellowships specifically aimed at returning researchers to their chosen fields after a career break. Together, these provide pathways back into academia and funding for researchers.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with UKRI on the reasons for UKRI funded early career researchers have not had access to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was designed to support employers whose operations have been severely affected by COVID-19 by providing them with a grant to help them to continue paying part of their employees’ wages who would otherwise have been laid off during this outbreak. The Government guidance states that where employers receive public funding for staff costs, and that funding is continuing, we expect employers to use that money to continue to pay staff in the usual fashion – and correspondingly not furlough them. For many early career researchers supported by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), this would have been the case.

The Government has worked with UKRI to ensure that appropriate guidance on the use of the scheme was available on GOV.UK and accessible through the UKRI website. A number of other measures have also been announced to support researchers affected by the pandemic. On 9 April, UKRI announced costed extensions of up to 6 months for PhD students in their final year whose research had been affected. On 27 June, £260 million of funding was announced for organisations to sustain UKRI grant-funded research and fellowships.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 24 June 2020 to Question 59769 on Future Fund, how many of the 252 convertible loans were issued to businesses in Newcastle.

On 21 July 2020 the British Business Bank published updated Future Fund data which gives a regional breakdown of 465 companies that have been approved for £468.7m worth of Convertible Loan Agreements since the scheme was launched on 20 May. This data is only available on a regional basis.

In the North East Region, 19 convertible loans have been approved, worth £18.7m. Of the total amount of £468.7m, 11% is to companies headquartered in the North (North West, North East and Yorkshire and the Humber).

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 13 July 2020 to Question 71047 on Research: Finance, how much of that funding will be funded through the £1 billion announced in Budget 2020.

Of the £100m for Direct Air Capture and carbon removal technologies, £70m will be allocated and delivered from the £1 billion BEIS Energy Innovation Programme as announced in the Budget in 2020. A further £31.5m will be spent through the UKRI Strategic Priorities Fund: Greenhouse Gas Removal Demonstrators (GGR-D).

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 29 June 2020 to Question 64183, what steps the (a) Government and (b) UKRI are taking to encourage diversity in UKRI funded PhD studentships.

The Government is committed to developing a strong, diverse academic workforce. As part of our recently published R&D roadmap, we will be working with stakeholders on a new R&D people and culture strategy. This strategy will examine how we can better attract diverse talent into research and enhance UK research culture.

In addition, UKRI are supporting and promoting diversity of PhD students through a number of initiatives:

  • Research England and the Office for Students are funding a competition to reduce inequalities in postgraduate research study to launch in Autumn 2020.
  • Research England and Office for Students’ Catalyst fund (£1.5 million) will improve support for mental health and wellbeing for postgraduate researchers.
  • The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council’s £5.5 million inclusion matters call will fund projects on equality, diversity and inclusion with projects looking at recruitment strategies and practices.
Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to provide financial support to the charity-funded research sector during the covid-19 outbreak.

On 27th?June, we announced a major package of?support for universities to help them continue research and innovation activities being impacted by Covid-19. This will aim to support the University research base as a whole.?From the Autumn, Government will provide a package consisting of low-interest loans with long pay-back periods, supplemented by a small amount of government grants, to cover up to 80% of a university’s income losses from international students for the academic year 20/21, up to the value of their non-publicly funded research activity, including from charities.

Universities will?be asked?to demonstrate how these funds?are being utilised to sustain research in areas typically funded by charities and business, for example to protect areas of medical research that have been developed in part with support of charities. We continue to engage with the sector as the details of the package are developed.

Charities will also benefit from the £750 million package announced in April to ensure Voluntary, Community and social Enterprises, including medical research charities, can continue their vital work supporting the country during the coronavirus outbreak. Charities also had access to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, will pay no business rates for their shops next year and can get a Business Interruption Loan.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has been made of the implications for his policies of the Association of Medical Research Charities’ proposal for a Life Sciences-Charity Partnership Fund.

Ministers in BEIS and officials have met regularly with the Association of Medical Research Charities and their members over the last months and we are aware of their proposal for a Life Sciences-Charity Partnership.

On 27th?June, we announced a major package of?support for universities to help them continue research and innovation activities being impacted by Covid-19. This will aim to address the broader set of issues facing the university research sector.?From the Autumn, Government will provide a package consisting of low-interest loans with long pay-back periods, supplemented by a small amount of government grants, to cover up to 80% of a university’s income losses from international students for the academic year 20/21, up to the value of their non-publicly funded research activity, including from charities.

Universities will?be asked?to demonstrate how these funds?are being utilised to sustain research in areas typically funded by charities and business, for example to protect areas of medical research that have been developed in part with support of charities. We continue to engage with medical research charities as the details of the package are developed.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has in place to ensure that EEA trademark attorneys do not have the right to appear before the UK Intellectual Property Office at the end of the transition period.

Officials at the Intellectual Property Office are exploring options in relation to the rules on address for service once the transition period ends. They plan to carry out a ‘call for views’ as soon as possible, to enable them to consider what options suit representatives and applicants.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he has taken in the last 12 months to tackle concerns about the Newton Fund as expressed in the July 2019 Independent Commission for Aid Impact report; and what proportion of the 2020-21 research and development budget he plans to allocate to the Newton Fund.

In the year since the publication of the ICAI Report, we have implemented many of the ICAI’s recommendations and we are making significant progress in all areas of our Funds’ operations, working closely with our UK and international partners.

This is set out in the Government’s evidence provided to the International Development Sub-Committee on ICAI (https://committees.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/2189/html/).

ICAI themselves have recognised much of the progress made, in their follow-up review published today.

The Newton Fund 2020-21 allocation (revised to £107m) reflects 1% of the Department’s total 2020-21 R&D budget (£10,361m).

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to increase funding allocated to medical research in the North East.

In 2018, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) spent over £32m on health-related research in the North East.

UKRI, funds medical research primarily through the Medical Research Council (MRC). UKRI welcomes investigator-led proposals from the North-East and a key consideration for a future strategy is how UKRI research can best benefit the regions in the UK.

The MRC has a number of investments based in the North East including the MRC-Arthritis Research UK Centre for Integrated Musculoskeletal Research which is a collaboration between research and clinicians at Newcastle University, the University of Liverpool and the University of Sheffield. The Centre will focus on understanding 1) how muscles, bones and joints change as we age, 2) how this makes some people prone to problem with tissues such as arthritis, and 3) what each person can do to reduce the risk of developing these problems. Another recent investment based in the North East includes the UK National Innovation Centre for Ageing based at Newcastle University which brings together scientists, industry, the NHS, the charitable and public sectors to bring products to market that optimise health and wellbeing as people age.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to support investment in research and development in fuel cell manufacturing technology in the UK.

The UK is well placed to realise the opportunities from hydrogen and fuel cells thanks to our high-quality engineering and manufacturing capability in relevant supply chains. We are working in partnership with industry to develop our strategic approach to hydrogen and related policy, including business models to support investment.

Through Innovate UK, the Office for Low Emission Vehicles and the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC), we have supported several fuel cell trial and innovation projects to build UK expertise. The APC has provided more than £35 million in grants to projects undertaking research and development to accelerate the commercialisation of fuel cells in automotive applications.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 14 July 2020 to Question 69544 on OneWeb, whether his scientific advisers recommend the purchase of Oneweb.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy took advice from experts across government to provide detailed scrutiny of the commercial, financial and scientific rationales for investment. In light of this, the decision was made to invest in OneWeb, promoting the UK focus in research and innovation and putting Britain at the cutting edge of the latest advances in space technology.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much funding his Department has allocated to (a) digital skills and (b) cyber skills; and to whom that funding has been allocated.

The Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy does not provide direct funding for digital or cyber skills in the UK: the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) lead on this policy area. I refer the Hon. Member to the answer given to her by my Hon. Friend the Minister of State for Digital and Culture on 17th July 2020 to Question 72907.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the membership of the Digital Markets Taskforce is; how often the taskforce meets; and whether the minutes of those meetings are published.

The Digital Markets Taskforce (the taskforce) was set up alongside the Budget in 2020. It will provide advice to the Government on the potential design and implementation of pro-competitive measures for digital platform markets.

The taskforce is a team based in the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and is led by a senior CMA official. It is independent of the Government and is made up of officials from:

  • the CMA
  • the Office of Communications (Ofcom)
  • the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)

The work of the taskforce is ongoing and therefore there are no substantive meetings from which minutes should be published. The taskforce will provide written advice to the Government before the end of the year.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the length of time it has taken Nottingham University's Scancell COVID-19 Vaccine group to receive Government funding in comparison to similar groups in (a) Oxford and (b) Imperial universities.

No such assessment has been made on the length of time taken. The government understands the urgency of the response to COVID-19 and set up a rapid response R&D fund, to accelerate research proposals into the disease. All applications to the UKRI-DHSC rapid response call are assessed on their own merits and awards made so far can be found at:

https://mrc.ukri.org/funding/browse/ukri-nihr-covid-19/ukri-nihr-covid-19-rolling-call/?_ga=2.186583657.1164498350.1594986614-294529872.1594986614.

The funding calls and processes for Scancell, Oxford and Imperial have different requirements and are of different scales, therefore the timings required to make a proper and fair assessment should not be compared.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 22 June 2020 to Question 59764 on Vaccination: Research, what progress the Vaccine Taskforce has made in accelerating vaccine development outside of Oxford and London.

The Government is taking a portfolio-based approach that monitors the landscape of coronavirus vaccine development, both here in the UK and internationally. Our approach is to develop vaccine candidates across the main potential technologies, including adenoviral vaccines, mRNA and nucleic acid vaccines, adjuvanted protein vaccines and other approaches, including whole inactivated viral vaccines. We cannot comment on negotiations with industry at present because of commercial confidentiality, but will be announcing developments in due course.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what funding his Department has (a) made available and (b) been allocated to model the transmission of the covid-19 virus in (i) air and (ii) water.

UK Research and Innovation has made several awards for studies on the transmission of COVID-19 through the UKRI open call as well as through the joint DHSC-UKRI Rapid Response Rolling call. This includes a £0.3million project led by Public Health England, to study how SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted, by determining how long SARS-CoV-2 can survive in the air and on different types of surfaces (for example, those found in the healthcare, domestic and community settings) under controlled environmental conditions (a range of temperatures and humidities) representative of those found in different settings and countries.

The UKRI open call is still open for applications and has so far funded 140 projects worth £41million. A full list of COVID-19 related funding is available on the UKRI website and is updated weekly.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to increase support for engineering biology; and whether he plans to respond to the Royal Academy of Engineering's report Engineering biology: A priority for growth, published November 2019.

On 4 June I met with the Royal Academy of Engineering to discuss their report in to engineering biology and agreed to have a discussion with industry leads to fully understand the opportunities these technologies have to offer.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the £100 million funding for Direct Air Capture R&D announced in the Plan for Jobs is part of the £22 billion R&D funding announced in Budget 2020; and who will be responsible for distributing that funding.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister announced up to £100 million for new research and development of Direct Air Capture on June 30th. Part of this will be funded through the more than £1bn announced in Budget 2020 by my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer for Net Zero Innovation to stimulate commercial activity in this essential technology. As with the current £505 million Energy Innovation Portfolio, this will be distributed by BEIS. The other part will be distributed by UKRI under its Strategic Priorities Fund, to accelerate innovation by universities.

The new funding is part of the Government’s ambitious plans to increase public research and development (R&D) investment to £22 billion per year by 2024 to 2025 announced in Budget 2020. Later this year, the Spending Review will provide the opportunity for the government to set out further detail on the long-term priorities for R&D investment as part of those plans.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to his Department's press release entitled Government to protect UK research jobs with major support package, published on 27 June 2020, whether universities seeking access to replacement funding for research as a result of the decrease in international students can access both the announced (a) grants and (b) loans.

I refer the hon. Member to the Written Ministerial Statement made by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State on 29 June 2020 that informed the House of Commons of a support?package to sustain research capacity and capability which might otherwise be impacted by Covid-19.

From the Autumn, the Government will demonstrate its commitment to research by providing a package of support to research-active universities, consisting of low-interest loans with long pay-back periods, supplemented by a small amount of government grants. In sharing responsibility for the future of science and research with our world-leading university system the government will cover up to 80% of a university’s income losses from international students for the academic year 20/21, up to the value of non-publicly funded research activity in that university.

Further details of the package, including the loan and grant arrangements, will be announced in due course.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which Departments participated in the purchase of Oneweb; and what the expected return is on the Government's investment.

The Government collectively reviewed and agreed to lead a successful bid to acquire OneWeb, who develop cutting-edge satellite technology in the UK and in the United States.

This investment is likely to make an economic return, with due diligence showing a strong commercial basis for investment. The deal contributes to the government’s plan to join the first rank of space nations, and signals the government’s ambition for the UK to be a pioneer in the research, development, manufacturing, and exploitation of novel satellite technologies enabling enhanced broadband through the ownership of a fleet of Low Earth orbit satellites.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he had with the UK Space Agency prior to the purchase of Oneweb.

The Government collectively reviewed and agreed to lead a successful bid to acquire OneWeb, who develop cutting-edge satellite technology in the UK and in the United States.

This investment is likely to make an economic return, with due diligence showing a strong commercial basis for investment. The deal contributes to the government’s plan to join the first rank of space nations, and signals the government’s ambition for the UK to be a pioneer in the research, development, manufacturing, and exploitation of novel satellite technologies enabling enhanced broadband through the ownership of a fleet of Low Earth orbit satellites.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what financial support there is to cover the costed extensions to stipends of charity-funded PhD students.

The Government recognises that there are significant pressures on PhD students and on charities as a result of the impact of COVID-19.

This impact includes a loss of income for charities, which is why the Government has pledged £750 million to ensure Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprises, including medical research charities, can continue their vital work in supporting the country during the coronavirus outbreak.

Furthermore, on 27 June the Government also announced 2 support packages to protect research jobs and ground-breaking research projects impacted by coronavirus. Firstly, around £280 million of government funding has been made available to universities impacted by coronavirus that will fund extensions to grants and support researchers’ salaries. Secondly, from this autumn UK universities will be able to access a series of government grants and long-term low-interest loans covering up to 80% of their income losses caused by an expected decline in international students, to ensure that crucial research can continue. As part of these packages, we will be asking universities to consider how they can support charity-funded research, including the PhD students involved, through this funding.

Charities and higher education providers can also access cross-cutting government support schemes, including the Business Interruption Loan Schemes and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

While charities and higher education providers are independent organisations and are responsible for their own decisions on funding, the Government is continuing to work with the sector, including with the Association of Medical Research Charities, to understand the impacts of COVID-19.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 8 June 2020 to Question 54103 on Intellectual Property: UK Relations with the EU, what assessment he has made of the (a) national and (b) regional economic effect of the receipt by EEA intellectual property practitioners of unreciprocated access to the Intellectual Property Office.

Officials at the Intellectual Property Office are continuing to have many useful discussions with representative bodies over how to best address this matter once the transition period ends. They are considering ways of capturing the full range of impacts, working with stakeholders.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 8 June 2020 to Question 54103 on Intellectual Property: UK Relations with the EU, what estimate he has made of the economic effect of UK trade mark attorneys not having reciprocal rights to the EU Intellectual Property Office when EEA practitioners will have access to the UK Intellectual Property Office.

Officials at the Intellectual Property Office are continuing to have many useful discussions with representative bodies over how to best address this matter once the transition period ends. They are considering ways of capturing the full range of impacts, working with stakeholders.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of EU steps to establish a clean hydrogen alliance; and what information he holds on the steps the EU is taking to establish a formal working group for regular engagement with UK industry.

We recognise that the scale up and demonstration of hydrogen’s potential in meeting Paris commitments is a global challenge. We are an active member of Mission Innovation and the International Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in the Economy. Since the UK has left the European Union, we are seeking to engage and cooperate with the EU on hydrogen through normal diplomatic channels. Therefore, the UK will not attend EU meetings or working groups on this topic other than in exceptional circumstances. Whilst the UK is leaving the EU single market, it remains an important part of the gas supply system for North West Europe. The UK, including industry, can expect to work cooperatively with its neighbours to sustain this mutually beneficial relationship into the future as the methane gas market is decarbonised, potentially leading to a European hydrogen market. The UK is undertaking extensive stakeholder engagement.? As part of this we are looking to formalise regular engagement between Government and industry?to discuss and drive development of the UK hydrogen economy.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what proportion of the research and development funding that does not go through UK Research and Innovation is allocated to universities.

Information on the scale and sources of research grant income secured by universities is available from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). This data is collected on an annual basis from higher education providers and is available at https://www.hesa.ac.uk/data-and-analysis/finances/income. Data for each of the last three years is provided in the table below:

£’000

UK Charities

UK central government bodies/local authorities, health and hospital authorities

UK central government tax credits for research and development expenditure

Academies*

HE Funding bodies Research Grant

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)

2016-17

1,187,550

1,006,732

24,748

88,251

399,706

---

2017-18

1,231,617

1,088,512

15,283

98,986

390,215

3,513,571

2018-19

1,261,308

1,116,781

780

113,683

420,975

3,875,371

*The Royal Society, British Academy and The Royal Society of Edinburgh

In 2018-19, UKRI accounted for ca 70% of public funding for research from UK sources.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the contribution of UK charities to UK university research and development in each of the last three years.

Information on the scale and sources of research grant income secured by universities is available from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). This data is collected on an annual basis from higher education providers and is available at https://www.hesa.ac.uk/data-and-analysis/finances/income. Data for each of the last three years is provided in the table below:

£’000

UK Charities

UK central government bodies/local authorities, health and hospital authorities

UK central government tax credits for research and development expenditure

Academies*

HE Funding bodies Research Grant

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)

2016-17

1,187,550

1,006,732

24,748

88,251

399,706

---

2017-18

1,231,617

1,088,512

15,283

98,986

390,215

3,513,571

2018-19

1,261,308

1,116,781

780

113,683

420,975

3,875,371

*The Royal Society, British Academy and The Royal Society of Edinburgh

In 2018-19, UKRI accounted for ca 70% of public funding for research from UK sources.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the Government plans to publish the (a) minutes and (b) outcomes of the ministerial-chaired meetings with stakeholders in relation to the Place Advisory Group.

Discussions with the new Place Advisory Group will inform the development of the ambitious new place strategy to be published in the autumn, as will further detailed discussions with the scientific community, industry, and civic organisations from across the country.

We will consider what material will be made public by the Group as part of the Terms of Reference. We expect to finalise and publish the membership and Terms of Reference for the Group in due course.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Policy paper, UK Research and Development Roadmap, published on 1 July 2020, from which of his Department's budgets will funding be allocated to ARPA-style body to boost transformative research in the UK.

We will invest at least £800 million to set up a unique and independent funding body that will back breakthrough technologies and basic research by experimenting with new funding models across long-term time horizons. We want to empower researchers to lead the world in the creation of new technologies, so we are currently in discussions with notable scientists and innovators to further develop and refine the design of the body. The funding for the new body and how it is allocated will be designed around the most appropriate model to deliver its vision, and the Department’s funding for future years from 2021-22 on will be allocated via the Spending Review.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he plans to allocate additional funding to research departments at universities that are not in receipt of a teaching excellence framework award.

Research funding allocations to universities from Research England are based primarily on the performance of their research departments under the Research Excellence Framework while project funding is allocated through competition, for example from the Research Councils. Research allocations are made irrespective of whether the university has been assessed through the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcome Framework.

From the Autumn, Government will provide research-active higher education providers across the UK with a package of support to sustain research capacity which is at risk from income losses due to COVID-19, consisting of low-interest loans with long pay-back periods, supplemented by a small amount of government grants. This will cover up to 80% of a university’s income losses from international students for the academic year 20/21, up to the value of their non-publicly funded research activity. In order to be eligible, the provider in England must be an “Approved (Fee Cap)” provider registered with the Office for Students and already in receipt of Research England funding.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the announcement entitled, Government to protect UK research jobs with major support package, how many applications have been made for funding; and what proportion of the £200 million has been allocated.

On 27 June, the Government announced two new support packages to protect research jobs and ground-breaking research projects impacted by coronavirus:

  • from this autumn, UK universities will be able to access a series of government grants and long-term, low interest loans covering up to 80% of their income losses caused by an expected decline in international students, ensuring that their crucial research can continue.
  • around £280 million government funding will be made available to universities impacted by coronavirus, allowing them to continue developing ambitious and innovative research projects.

The package includes funding for costed grant extensions for the outstanding researchers funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the National Academies, whose projects have been seriously impacted by COVID-19.

It includes £180 million for UKRI, which will be awarded as a block grant allocation to 157 institutions. The allocation will be calculated pro rata to the total value of payments that organisations are profiled to receive between 1 April 2020 and 31 March 2021, for competitively awarded grants with a planned end date during the same time period.

Demand is expected to be high for the funding allocated by the National Academies, and we are working with the Academies to develop delivery mechanisms.

The wider package of announcements will be available in the Autumn.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when UK Research and Innovation's (UKRI) budget will be published; and what proportion of the £22 billion spend on research and development in 2024-25 will be allocated to UKRI.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s research and development allocations for 2020/2021 were published on 29th May 2020 and are available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/beis-research-and-development-rd-budget-allocations-2020-to-2021/beis-research-and-development-budget-allocations-2020-to-2021.

Information on future years’ allocations will be published following the Spending Review.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what proportion of (a) applicants and (b) successful applicants of the 2020 Strength in Places pathfinder programme came from (i) the North East, (ii) London and (iii) the South East.

The UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Strength in Places Fund (SIPF) is a new competitive funding scheme that funds consortia of research organisations, businesses and local leadership, to carry out research and innovation activities that will have specific local economic impacts.

The SIPF operates a two-stage process, where consortia first submit shorter expressions of interest (EoI) bids, and the SIPF assessment panel makes recommendations to UKRI. Funded EoI bids receive up to £50k seedcorn funding to support development of full stage bids, which are then reviewed by the same assessment panel. The panel makes recommendations for both stages of funding against the published SIPF assessment criteria available on the UKRI website based on the strength of the bids.

The proportion of applicants and successful applicants for Wave 1 of the SIPF by NUTS1 categories at each of the stages is outlined below. These are defined by lead applicants, as SIPF projects are carried out by consortia, there will be partners within these projects that are in different NUTS1 classifications to the lead applicant.

Wave 2 of the programme is currently under way, with the announcement of successful EoIs for funding proposals scheduled for Summer 2020. SIPF is only part of a wider portfolio of funding streams delivered to organisations across the country through UKRI that places can benefit from.

Table 1

Total eligible bidsa received (/85)

Bid development funding awarded (/23)

Full stage funding awarded (/7)

North East

5

3

0

Greater London

4

1

0

South East

5

1

1

East Midlands

5

1

0

East of England

4

2

0

North West

7

2

1

Northern Ireland

5

1

1

Scotland

19

4

2

South West

15

3

1

Wales

6

1

1

West Midlands

4

1

0

Yorkshire and Humber

6

3

0

Notes on data supplied in Table 1

a The data provided refers to eligible SIPF bids, in line with the published programme assessment criteria.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of compensation received by subpostmasters affected by the Horizon scandal.

While the Government is pleased that a resolution has been reached on this difficult matter, the Post Office led the mediation and the Government was not party to it.

The financial settlement is a major step towards resolving some of these grievances, however there is more for the Post Office to do. The Post Office has committed to a major programme of work to overhaul its relationship with postmasters which Government is determined to see delivered.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the financial effect on university research capacity of the potential reduction in international students studying in the UK in 2020-21.

The Government fully recognise the implications for financial sustainability of university research from potential decline in income from international students, and other sources. BEIS officials are working with colleagues in Department for Education, Office for Students and UK Research and Innovation, and with the university sector, to understand and assess the potential scale of the impacts, taking account of range of actions to encourage continued recruitment of international students, and to open up higher education institutions from September.

On June 27th we announced a support?package to sustain research capacity and capability which might otherwise be impacted. From this autumn, UK universities will be able to access a government funded package of long-term, low interest loans, supplemented by a small amount of grant, covering up to 80% of the university’s income losses from international students for the academic year 20/21, up to the value of their non-publicly funded research activity. This will help to protect research jobs, capability and ground-breaking research.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of the recent award of Copernicus contracts on the UK space sector.

UK space sector organisations have won important new contracts from the European Space Agency for work related to five out of the six new Copernicus missions. The Government has made clear its ambitions for space and is developing a new UK Space Strategy to bring long-term strategic and commercial benefits to the nation.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what proportion of OneWeb's (a) R&D and (b) manufacturing takes place in the UK; and what assessment he has made of the potential effect on those proportions in the event that the Government invests in that company's satellite broadband programme.

The Government led a successful bid to acquire OneWeb, who develop cutting-edge satellite technology in the UK and in the United States. The deal will support the UK to be a pioneer in the research, development, manufacturing, and exploitation of novel satellite technologies, whilst boosting UK manufacturing.

This deal will protect 70 existing jobs and the Government will be encouraging future roles to be based in the UK, both in OneWeb itself and in the wider supply chain. The UK will seek to develop further its advanced manufacturing base, making the most of its highly skilled workforce as the hardware is further developed and equipment and services are deployed to make the most of this unique capability.

This Government has made clear its ambitions for space and is developing a new National Space Strategy to bring long-term strategic and commercial benefits to the UK. We are in regular discussions with the space industry as part of this work and how this could be taken forward.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what (a) scientific and (b) engineering advice his Department (i) received and (ii) considered in the decision to approve the allocation of funding for the OneWeb satellite system; and will he publish that advice.

The Chapter 11 bidding process for OneWeb is commercially sensitive, so it would not be appropriate to comment further.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the ability of (a) OneWeb and (b) other Low Earth Orbit satellite constellations to be adapted to deliver navigation capability in the (i) short, (ii) medium and (iii) long term; and what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of (a) that adaptation for the OneWeb constellation and (b) the number of devices which can receive the signals at the frequency and speed at which OneWeb satellites operate.

Positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) services underpin a wide range of essential UK public services and national capabilities. Work is ongoing across Government to determine the UK’s positioning, navigation, and timing requirements.

The ongoing Chapter 11 bidding process for OneWeb is commercially sensitive, so it would not be appropriate to comment further at this time.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with UKRI on the diversity of the PhD students it is funding; and what data is collected to assess diversity.

I regularly meet with UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) Chief Executive. BEIS works closely with UKRI to ensure that a whole systems approach is taken in embedding equality, diversity and inclusion across the research and innovation system. We expect UKRI, and the research organisations it funds to deliver doctoral training, to ensure that equality, diversity and inclusion is considered and supported at all stages of the doctoral programme.

UKRI collects diversity data of UKRI funded PhD Studentships, specifically on age, disability, gender and ethnicity and has published its first set of harmonised diversity data for all seven research councils for the past five academic years. This is an important step in understanding the diversity of our research and innovation communities. UKRI is investigating the collection of diversity data to include other protected characteristics and publishing data at a more granular level.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many businesses have received support from the Future Fund, by region.

As of 14 June, 155 convertible loans have been approved under the Future Fund, with a total value of £146 million.

Regional figures for the Future Fund will be published monthly and the first release of data will be later this month.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what criteria were used in the the decision making process which led to the award of £126 million to experimental vaccines at Oxford University and Imperial College London and the rejection of funding for vaccine projects at Bristol University and Nottingham University.

In Oxford and Imperial, we have two of the global front-runners in C-19 vaccine development. The teams at Oxford University and Imperial College are the most progressed in terms to developing a vaccine candidate and entering clinical trials, in the UK. As such, the Vaccine Taskforce has worked to ensure that Oxford and Imperial receive the investment from BEIS and DHSC to accelerate the development of a successful COVID19 vaccine.

The Vaccines Taskforce will continue to review and engage with other candidates and the Government is rightly proud of the work that many of our academic institutions are conducting in response to COVID 19.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the number of UK start-ups whose Future Fund loans will be converted to equity.

As of 21 June, 252 convertible loans have been approved under the Future Fund, with a total value of £236.2 million.

We are currently monitoring scheme uptake and total uptake statistics are published weekly here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/hm-treasury-coronavirus-covid-19-business-loan-scheme-statistics.

The convertible loans issued under this scheme will automatically convert to equity in recipient companies in the next qualifying equity financing round. There may also be other circumstances in which loans would either convert into shares or be repayable, such as: specific exit events; maturity of the Loan; or on an event of default by the Investee Company.

As a result, we are unable to make an estimate on the number of conversions at this time.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will take steps to limit rights of representation at the UK Intellectual Property Office to those persons with a UK or Channel Island address if there are no reciprocal rights of representation for UK practitioners before the European Union Intellectual Property Office at the end of the transition period.

Officials are having ongoing conversations with representative bodies over how to best approach the issues surrounding address for service once the transition period ends.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how often his Department plans to (a) meet and (b) receive updates from the Ministerial University Research and Knowledge Exchange Sustainability Taskforce; whether he plans to publish those updates.

The Taskforce has been meeting remotely via video conference on a fortnightly basis. The membership and full terms of reference of the group are available on gov.uk.

The taskforce has discussed a range of issues facing the sector due to the disruption surrounding COVID-19, and how to approach those challenges. Discussions at the taskforce are assisting ongoing policy development, alongside intelligence which has been submitted by members and their networks.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the Ministerial University Research and Knowledge Exchange Sustainability Taskforce on their immediate priority issues.

The Taskforce has been meeting remotely via video conference on a fortnightly basis. The membership and full terms of reference of the group are available on gov.uk.

The taskforce has discussed a range of issues facing the sector due to the disruption surrounding COVID-19, and how to approach those challenges. Discussions at the taskforce are assisting ongoing policy development, alongside intelligence which has been submitted by members and their networks.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to utilise advice from the engineering sector as part of the Government's response to the covid-19 outbreak.

Throughout the Covid-19 outbreak, we have closely engaged with the engineering and manufacturing sectors, ensuring that their input helps to shape the Government’s response.

We have also worked closely with businesses, business bodies, trade unions, Public Health England, and workplace safety experts to develop a “national consensus” on the safest ways of working across the economy. This has included engagement with stakeholders from the engineering and manufacturing sectors. Through this work we have developed specific guidance for different types of workplaces, including factories, plants, and warehouses.

Last week, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy convened a series of Economic Recovery roundtables, bringing together businesses, business representative groups, and leading academics to consider measures to support economic recovery and ensure we have the right skills and opportunities in place for our workforce.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans the Government has to support long-term domestic vaccine manufacturing capability.

Long-term domestic vaccine manufacturing capability is being considered jointly with the Department of Health and Social Care and Government is working closely with the Bioindustry Association (BIA) to ensure that the UK has the manufacturing capabilities to produce new vaccines at the levels required.

In addition, Government has recently announced £93 million investment to accelerate the launch of the UK’s new Vaccine Manufacturing and Innovation Centre; a facility that will utilise innovative processes to manufacture vaccines at scale.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 4 June 2020 to Question 51958, on Bounce Back Loan Scheme, how businesses using the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) that later decide that they need more financing can refinance under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) when as stated businesses are not permitted to access more than one of either the BBLS, CBILS, the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme or the Covid Corporate Financing Facility scheme at the same time.

Under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), a business which has had their application for a loan accepted, or is part of a wider group (defined by having a holding company at the top of their structure) in which any business has had their application for a loan accepted, is not able to apply for a further loan.

Businesses using the BBLS, who later decide that they need more financing, may be able to refinance their loan in full under Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) provided they are eligible for the CBILS.

Businesses are not permitted to access more than one of either the BBLS, CBILS, Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) or the Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) scheme at the same time.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of trends in the level of debts energy companies owe to their customers arising from direct debit payments (a) before and (b) during the covid-19 outbreak.

Direct debit customers build up credit balances for a variety of reasons: smoothing bills over seasons, changes in consumption patterns, and if suppliers have to estimate the amount of energy used if no meter reading has been provided.

Suppliers have policies on refunding excessive credit balances, and we encourage all consumers to provide frequent meter readings and to monitor payment levels to ensure their payments are appropriate.

BEIS does not collect data on direct debt customer credit balances so has not made an assessment of how these have changed before or during the Covid-19 outbreak. Ofgem can collect data on credit balances by requesting it from suppliers through a formal Request For Information and have done so on occasion in the past, allowing them to monitor this.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the (a) national and (b) regional economic effect of the receipt by EEA intellectual property practitioners of unreciprocated access to the Intellectual Property Office.

The Government is aware that this is an important issue for stake holders, in particular UK-based patent and trade mark attorneys.

Officials at the Intellectual Property Office are having ongoing conversations with representative bodies over how to best address this matter once the transition period ends.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what proportion of the science budget for 2020-21 will be allocated to each of the science councils.

We have set ourselves the target of at least 2.4% of GDP being spent on R&D by 2027.? This was supported by the unprecedented commitment at the Budget to increase public investment in R&D to £22?billion a year by 2024-25.

This figure covers all R&D spending across government. The allocation of the spend to particular departments and programmes will be confirmed at the Spending Review, later in the year.

On Friday 29th May we announced allocations to BEIS partners and programmes for 2020-21. UKRI will confirm allocations to individual research councils in due course.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he plans to allocate funding from the science budget 2020-21 to replace EU Horizon funding.

The Government is committed to ensuring the UK becomes a global science superpower and continues to collaborate with Europe on scientific research. My Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister has made clear that the UK is ready to consider a relationship in line with non-EU Member State participation in Horizon Europe, provided that this represents value for money and is in the UK’s interest. Any agreements relating to Union programmes should contain fair terms for UK participation.

I refer the Hon. Member to a Written Ministerial Statement made by my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 19 May (HCWS245), which sets out that discussions covered all workstreams including: general terms for UK participation in programmes, including provisions for financial contribution.

As a responsible government, we are also developing alternative schemes to support international research and innovation collaboration. This includes options which can address immediate needs and work through to any future funding scenario.

In the Budget, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that government investment in R&D will increase to £22bn by 2024/25, the largest and fastest ever increase. The increase in investment in R&D will include funding for any continued participation in EU research and innovation Programmes or EU replacement schemes, subject to allocation at the Spending Review.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions his officials in his Department have had with the members of the Government's EU negotiation team on access to the EU Intellectual Property Office for UK practitioners after the transition period.

Officials have been involved in cross government discussions on many post transition period issues.

We are currently in negotiations with the EU as we seek a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement. On legal services, our starting point is precedent based. We aim to secure market access commitments for lawyers and minimise barriers to the cross-border supply of services and investment, on the basis of commitments like those in the Canada FTA. We cannot comment on on the status of live negotiations.

However, rights of representation, whether before domestic courts in Member States or EU institutions, such as the EU Intellectual Property Office, are the preserve of the Single Market and so do not form part of the UK approach to negotiations with the EU.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what proportion of the science budget he plans to allocate to covid-19 related research.

Our investment in science and research will be critical to our economic recovery and it is already helping us to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of the 4th June, UKRI-funded research projects and other awards related to COVID-19 total over £170m (of which £12m comes from NIHR). This does not include internal re-allocation for example through UKRI-owned institutes and centres. The actual number will be much higher than this. UKRI is also working with partners across the broader research system, for example in supporting the government’s ventilator challenge.

Since the start of the crisis UKRI has allocated over £1bn in research and innovation funding to tackle the effects of COVID-19 (this includes funding to assist research-intensive SMEs affected by the crisis).

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with UK Research and Innovation on relaxing public funding match-funding requirements to allow public funding to cover 100 per cent of the costs of public and private sector research and development during the covid-19 outbreak.

All sources of R&D funding of are of great importance to UK R&D. Every £1 of public funding in R&D leverages around £1.40 of additional investment from the private sector. The UK is at the forefront of producing new ideas and has the capacity to translate these into social and economic benefit to the UK.

We are increasing spending on R&D investment to £22 billion per year by 2024/25. This is the biggest ever increase in public funding of R&D. We intend to develop a comprehensive R&D plan which will draw on work undertaken through the Industrial Strategy, and we will work closely with stakeholders in developing this.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State has regular discussions with UKRI, on a range of issues, including public and private sector research and development and COVID-19.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether small businesses, who initially applied for less than the maximum £50,000 from the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, can apply for the remaining amount as the longer term effect of the covid-19 outbreak on their business becomes apparent.

Under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), businesses can apply for between £2,000 up to 25% of their turnover. The maximum loan available under the Scheme is £50,000. Once a business has received a BBLS facility, it is not eligible to apply for a second loan under the Scheme.

Businesses using BBLS, who later decide that they need more financing, may be able to refinance under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) provided they are eligible.

Businesses are not permitted to access more than one of either the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, CBILS, CLBILS or the Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) scheme at the same time.

The BBLS is part of a comprehensive package of support, including the Job Retention Scheme, VAT and tax deferrals, and small business grants. All businesses can reach out to their lenders and landlords for payment holidays during the COVID crisis.

Businesses in England can find up to date information on all available support at our Gov.uk website, from the Business Support Helpline (0300 456 3565) and through their Local Growth Hubs.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to support private sector funded research and development during the covid-19 pandemic.

In April we announced a £1.25 billion package to help ensure innovative firms in some of the most dynamic sectors of the UK economy – ranging from tech to life sciences – are protected through the COVID-19 crisis so they can continue to develop innovative new products and help power UK growth.

The Government is supporting businesses to continue research and development through this crisis. We recently announced £750 million of investment, delivered through Innovate UK, in new measures?to support innovation in the country’s most research-intensive businesses both during and after the coronavirus pandemic, and to support new ways of dealing with global disruption.?Details on this package are available online?at:?https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/access-coronovirus-business-innovation-support-package.

This package builds on the government’s existing support for innovative, high-growth firms including the £2.5 billion British Patient Capital fund, the upcoming £200 million Life Sciences Investment Programme, internationally competitive R&D tax reliefs and our major commitments to increase public R&D spending to £22 billion by 2024-25.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what support his Department is providing to businesses that provide meeting and event spaces and who have been affected by the covid-19 outbreak.

We are aware that the business events industry has been significantly impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. The Government has engaged regularly with the sector over the last few months to continuously assess the situation.

Overall, Government has introduced a range of support for businesses across all sectors in the UK. At this time:

  • 8.4 million jobs have been furloughed with £15 billion claimed so far through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). 1million employers have used the Scheme.
  • 2.3million Self-employment Income Support (SEISS) claims have been submitted worth £6.8 billion.
  • The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) has seen 608,069 approved loans so far worth £18.49 billion.
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) has seen 43,045 loans worth £8.15billion approved so far.

The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) has seen 154 approved loans totalling £0.82 billion.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the effect of a potential recession after the covid-19 lockdown on business investment in research and development.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State has regular discussions with my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer on all aspects of the economy, including research and development and Covid-19.

During the Financial Crisis, R&D performed in businesses in the UK fell in 2008 by 2% (after taking account of inflation) and by a further 3% in 2009. By 2011 it had recovered to levels above those in 2007, and in 2018 was more than 30% higher than in 2007.

The Government is supporting businesses to continue research and development through this crisis. We recently announced £750 million of investment, delivered through Innovate UK, in new measures to support innovation in the country’s most research-intensive businesses both during and after the coronavirus pandemic, and to support new ways of dealing with global disruption. Details on this package are available online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/access-coronovirus-business-innovation-support-package.

This is in addition to our existing plans to significantly boost public R&D funding and our ambition to reach 2.4% of GDP spent on R&D by 2027.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the research and development sector is adequately prioritised in the Government's plans for recovery in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government holds research and development as a high priority, and we continue to believe our world-leading excellence in science will be key to ensuring the UK’s prosperity and productivity in the long term and to tackling the immediate challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In response to the outbreak, BEIS and DfE?have set out?to universities and the wider research community early considerations and advice to help the sector deal with some immediate priorities. A joint BEIS/DfE Ministerial Taskforce on the sustainability of university research has been set up to identify and assess impacts and to consider approaches to help manage these over the?coming months.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the number of business research and development contracts held by UK universities that have been paused as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Government announced a package of support for UK universities on 4th May to ensure that the university research base can fully contribute to the UK recovery and our economy in the longer-term post COVID-19. The Department does not hold any information about the number of business R&D contracts held by UK universities that have been paused as a result of COVID-19. However, BEIS is working with the sector to gather information and intelligence about the impact of COVID-19 on business-funded research.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made on the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on levels of (a) aviation and (b) manufacturing research funding to universities.

The Government recognises that the aviation and manufacturing sectors have been strongly impacted by Covid-19.

We do not have an assessment of the effect of the Covid-19 outbreak on the level of research funding to universities for aviation or manufacturing. According to the Office for National Statistics, UK business finance for Research & Development (R&D) in higher education in 2018 was £389 million. This is approximately 4% of all R&D performed in higher education. We do not have a breakdown by product or sector.

A Ministerial Taskforce, jointly led by BEIS and the Department for Education, on the sustainability of university research including those funded by businesses, has been established. The Taskforce will identify and assess impacts, as well as consider approaches to help manage these impacts over the?coming months.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what (a) guidance and (b) support his Department has provided to PhD students who cannot complete their research due to the covid-19 outbreak; and what information his Department holds on the number and proportion of those students whose research contracts have been extended as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is aware of the consequent pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic on doctoral students and their ability to complete work. This is a difficult time for all post graduate students, academic staff and researchers.

On 9 April it was announced that UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) will offer a costed extension of up to six months for UKRI PhD students due to complete by 31 March 2021 whose study has been impacted by the pandemic. This includes 6,334 of 22,065 current UKRI-funded doctoral students. Those UKRI-funded students not in their final year may be granted extensions on a case by case basis.

On 24 April, UKRI issued detailed guidance to universities on how the policy should be implemented. UKRI has outlined that universities must put in place processes that are based upon the principles of ensuring all UKRI doctoral students are supported to complete their projects and that they should be treated fairly, generously and sympathetically given the disruptions caused to research programmes and individual’s personal circumstances.

UKRI is engaging with the wider sector about the implementation of the extension and to identify and understand future impact, including the numbers of students it funds that are affected. The extension will be reviewed in four months’ time to ensure that any further impacts to doctoral training are taken into account.

The Department does not hold information on the overall number of PhD students – UKRI-funded and funded via other sources – who have had their research contracts extended.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of introducing smart homes as part of development of social housing stock.

The Government is working closely with Ofgem and industry to support the transition to a smarter, more flexible energy system. Our Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan sets out a suite of actions to facilitate the deployment of smart technologies in homes and businesses. Smart technologies drive decarbonisation, can help consumers save money, and improve the efficiency of our energy system – saving the UK an estimated £17-40bn by 2050.

There were around 19.3 million smart meters installed in homes across Great Britain by the end of 2019, enabling households to track and manage their energy use and prepayment customers to top-up credit without leaving home. The half-hourly consumption and price data recorded by smart meters is enabling innovative products such as smart tariffs, which allow consumers to save money by using energy away from peak times and technologies such as electric vehicles and smart appliances to be cost-effectively integrated with renewable energy sources.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how UK startups who have a US parent company as a requirement of US accelerator programmes can access the UK’s Future Fund initiative.

The Future Fund opened for applications on 20 May. The Future Fund will provide UK-based companies with convertible loans, investing between £125k and £5m, on the condition that third-party investors at least match the Future Fund’s commitment.

The eligibility criteria for the scheme states that a business must be a UK incorporated limited company and if the company is a member of a corporate group, only the parent company is eligible.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what progress has been made with the UK Research and Innovation consultation on the Open Access policy.

As part of its Open Access Review, UKRI issued a consultation in February to seek views and evidence on its proposed policy, inviting responses from any organisation, group or individual with an interest in research and innovation. Originally closing on 17 April, the consultation has been extended to 29 May 2020 in response to the COVID-19 disruption.

Further work is being undertaken to gather evidence alongside the consultation, including independent analysis to help assess the possible implications for stakeholders, such as direct costs and benefits, and wider social and economic implications.

The review originally aimed to report in 2020, however, with changing circumstances related to COVID-19, it is likely to report later. UKRI continue to review the situation and will communicate a clear timetable once this is more certain.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the amount of (a) public and (b) private research and development funding that has been spent on coronavirus research over the last 10 years; and who the principal recipients were of the public research and development spend.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), has funded a total of £23,694,655 for activities directly related to coronavirus between 2010 and the current COVID-19 crisis. This covers 34 projects across 23 organisations including the Pirbright Institute, the MRC Human Immunology Unit, and the University of Glasgow.

UKRI, along with other government departments, also funds a large amount of research and innovation across connected areas including the social sciences, vaccine manufacturing, and into fundamental biological sciences that are not directly aimed at coronavirus but have a huge impact on our understanding of and ability to respond to infectious diseases and epidemics.

These areas are also supported, in collaboration with other public funders, through groups such as The UK Vaccine Network, which was established in June 2015 with £120 million from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and UKRI ODA funding, to support the development of vaccines and vaccine technologies for diseases with epidemic potential.

Since the outbreak of the current pandemic the Government has made a series of further interventions specifically targeted at COVID-19 including:

  • £24.6 million for a joint UKRI-DHSC rapid response call for public and clinical research on COVID-19. Funding for this has been announced across 27 projects
  • £20m through UKRI, Public Health England, NHS, and Wellcome Trust for the Whole Genome Sequence Alliance
  • £28m through UKRI, Genomics England, DHSC, NIHR, and Illumina for the GenOMICC consortium
  • UKRI have launched an open call for short-term multi-disciplinary research projects of up to 18 months into tackling and mitigating the impacts of COVID-19.
  • In addition to the £40m already given to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the Prime Minister announced in March that the UK has invested an additional £210m of funding in the CEPI global vaccine initiative.

The latest ONS Business Enterprise Research and Development release suggests that businesses in the UK performed over £43 billion worth of R&D on pharmaceuticals in the ten years from 2009 to 2018, the most recent 10-year data range available.[1] Specific figures on private sector research into coronavirus within pharmaceutical research are not specified in this release.

[1] ONS Business Enterprise Research and Development Release, UK: 2018 https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/governmentpublicsectorandtaxes/researchanddevelopmentexpenditure/bulletins/businessenterpriseresearchanddevelopment/2018

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he plans to make changes to the Life Sciences Sector Deal to reflect priorities arising from the covid 19 outbreak.

As shown in the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy Update earlier this year, the two Life Sciences Sector Deals transform a significant part of the industry-led Life Sciences Industrial Strategy into government policy. The considerable government and industry investment in the Sector Deals was secured through extensive collaboration between government and the sector, working together strategically to enhance the attractiveness of the UK

Government is committed to continuing to work with the sector, including through the Life Sciences Council (a partnership between Government and industry) to deliver on the vision of the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy and the commitment to make the UK the leading global hub for life sciences.

Effective collaboration between the Life Sciences sector and government is vital to the response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Protecting the health and safety of the British public is, and must always be, our number one priority.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on domestic manufacturing capacity.

Manufacturing is a critical part of our economy.?My Department?is engaging with industry trade bodies to understand the impacts of Covid-19 on the manufacturing sector, to ensure that Government support meets the needs of manufacturers?during and after the Covid-19 outbreak.

On 7 May, the Office for National Statistics published the Business Impacts of Covid-19 Survey.[1] It showed that 79% of manufacturing businesses continued to trade during between 6 and19 April 2020. However, more than half of manufacturing businesses reported a fall in turnover during this period.

[1]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/coronavirustheukeconomyandsocietyfasterindicators/7may2020#business-impact-of-the-coronavirus

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans the Government has made to ensure a frictionless route to market for (a) covid-19 tests produced in the UK and (b) an approved vaccine for covid-19.

There is a clear and unprecedented demand for testing supplies and companies, including UK manufacturers, are ramping up their capacity as quickly as possible. We are working closely with industry to obtain maximum possible supplies for the UK and with the scientific community to explore innovative new options for test kits.

Where new testing solutions are developed, we are keen to ensure we are able to utilise them as soon as possible and will be working with the appropriate industry bodies, the UK diagnostics industry and regulators like the MHRA to ensure the most effective products being adopted meet our criteria for use.

The Government has established a Vaccines Taskforce to coordinate and make the most of all the work going on across government, academia and industry to accelerate the development and manufacture of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Work is proceeding at pace to ensure that the UK has capacity to deliver across different vaccine types whilst they are still under development. We will be carefully considering how we go from a newly manufactured and licenced vaccine, to distributing this to those who need it once it becomes available. We are co-ordinating closely with partners across the health and social care system.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the personal protective equipment requirements of postal workers providing key services during the covid-19 lockdown period.

The Government is clear that we will support people in work during the COVID-19 outbreak. We are regularly engaging with industry stakeholders to ensure they are well prepared and that their operations remain in line with the latest health guidance.

Safety of workers is the number one priority for the Government. Public Health England advice remains that personal protective equipment is not necessary in the workplace outside clinical settings or where the Health and Safety Executive and employer risk assessments do not suggest it is necessary.

Postal operators should make sure they put appropriate measures in place to follow the legal obligations set out under Health and Safety legislation to protect their staff at work. Postal workers are advised to continue to follow the advice of their employers and make sensible workplace adjustments.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the UK's capacity to mass manufacture a test for covid-19.

There is a clear and unprecedented demand for testing supplies. The Department of Health and Social Care is leading on the government’s approach to testing for COVID-19 and the National Diagnostics Effort to scale up the UK’s diagnostics industry, as part of the government’s Testing Strategy.

The UK has an innovative, but relatively small diagnostics industry, and both the Department for Health and Social Care and The Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy are working with companies, including UK manufacturers, to ramp up their capacity as quickly as possible. The Department of Health and Social Care is also working closely with industry to obtain maximum possible supplies for the UK and with the scientific community to explore innovative new options for test kits.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he taking to ensure people paying for utilities on a pay as you go basis are not charged higher tariffs compared to people who pay through regular billing during the covid-19 outbreak.

Consumers who pay for their energy on a pay as you go basis are protected by the Pre-payment Meter Price Cap which came into force on 1 April 2017. This cap applies to prepayment meter consumers on a non-fixed deal and without an interoperable smart meter and is set so as to ensure that prices are fair. Energy suppliers can price to the level of the cap or below it but cannot charge more. Ofgem are monitoring the energy market closely and will adjust the Prepayment Meter Cap to reflect changes in the underlying factors.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
30th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy what guidance his Department has issued to (a) funding bodies and (b) universities in relation to STEM PhD students that are no longer able to complete lab based work.

The Government is aware of the impact of COVID-19 on the ability of STEM PhD students to complete lab-based work.

I have written an open letter, encouraging the sector – where possible and fully in line with government advice – to continue with science- and research-related business. This sets out that universities and research institutes will be best-placed to make decisions themselves about what should be paused or stopped. The letter has been published on the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) website: https://www.ukri.org/files/news/science-minister-letter-covid19/.

UKRI is continuing to engage with the higher education sector, and confirmed on 9 April that it will offer a costed extension of up to six months for UKRI PhD students due to complete by 31 March 2021 whose study has been impacted by the pandemic.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
24th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether currency exchange kiosks are eligible to apply for covid-19 small business support.

All businesses in receipt of the Small Business Rate Relief on or before the 11th March 2020 are eligible for the Small Business Grants Fund. Where currency exchange kiosks have their own business rating and meet the eligibility criteria, they are eligible for the Small Business grant of £10,000.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much public funding has been allocated to coronavirus research since the 2002 SARS outbreak; and which organisations received that funding.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), has funded a total of £25,319,783 for activities directly related to coronavirus since the 2002 SARS outbreak. This covers 45 projects across 25 organisations including the Pirbright Institute, the MRC Human Immunology Unit, and the University of Glasgow.

UKRI, along with other government departments, also funds a large amount of research and innovation across connected areas including the social sciences, vaccine manufacturing, and into fundamental biological sciences that are not directly aimed at coronavirus but have a huge impact on our understanding of and ability to respond to infectious diseases and epidemics.

These areas are also supported, in collaboration with other public funders, through groups such as The UK Vaccine Network which was established in June 2015 with £120 million from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and UKRI ODA funding, to support the development of vaccines and vaccine technologies for diseases with epidemic potential.

To support research into the current COVID-19 outbreak DHSC and UKRI have run a rapid response initiative, a further £20 million has been made available to support research to understand the disease, prevent, treat and control it, in order to mitigate the severity of the outbreak. The initiative has two calls i) active intervention development including vaccines and therapeutics, and ii) diagnosis and understanding of COVID-19. Funding panels have met and awards will be announced shortly. The UK has also committed £50 million to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness (CEPI), which supports MERS-CoV and COVID-19 vaccine development efforts.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has in place to ensure that coronavirus research patents are available to the NHS.

It is a fundamental principle of the patent system in the UK that inventions are made public. This benefits society as it allows everyone to learn of new technical advances which, critically at this time, includes developments in the area of coronavirus research. The NHS in England and other relevant health bodies across the four nations have established procurement procedures for accessing patented inventions, whether stemming from coronavirus research or not.

The UK’s patent system provides a number of checks and balances to the grant of exclusive patent rights, including powers for government departments to use a patented invention in a period of emergency.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
13th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to Budget 2020, whether £22 billion of funding allocated to R&D includes funding to replace EU funding.

The Government is firmly committed to becoming a global science superpower and continuing to collaborate internationally on scientific research.

The Chancellor announced that government investment in R&D will increase to £22bn per annum by 2024/25, putting the UK on track to reach 2.4% of GDP being spent on R&D across the economy by 2027. This increase will include funding for continued participation in EU science programmes or EU replacement schemes. Funding for EU programmes, or for alternatives would be subject to allocations at the Spending Review.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
13th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to paragraph 1.220 of the Budget 2020 Red Book, how much and what proportion of the funding for science has already been allocated to institutions (a) in London, the south and South East of England and (b) other parts of England.

The Government will be working on the allocation of the announced investment over the coming weeks and will announce further details at the Spending Review later this year.

We will publish a new ambitious place strategy for R&D this summer. This will set out how we can build on existing initiatives, such as the Strength in Places in Places Fund, to build R&D excellence across the whole country.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
11th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment the Government has made of the potential contribution of (a) machine learning and (b) artificial intelligence to the reduction of carbon emissions.

The Government commissioned Energy Innovation Needs Assessments (EINAs), published in November 2019, looked at the role of different technologies in the UK’s future energy system. The EINAs highlighted that AI, machine learning and digital technologies are likely to play a key role in decarbonisation and the UK achieving Net Zero, and we are taking those findings into consideration when planning future innovation support.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many (a) meetings and (b) other representations his Department has had with Huawei since 1 January 2019.

Departments publish quarterly details of Ministers’ meetings with external organisations at:https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/beis-ministerial-gifts-hospitality-travel-and-meetings

The latest published data covers July to September 2019. Data for October to December 2019 will be published shortly.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what statutory role OfGem has in relation to decarbonisation policies; and what her Department's policy is on ensuring that the energy market best supports the transition to renewable energy.

Ofgem has an important role in the transition to net zero and has various powers and duties in relation to decarbonisation. Ofgem’s principle duty is to protect existing and future consumers and this includes consumers’ interests in the reduction of targeted greenhouse gas emissions from electricity and gas supply. Ofgem also has a duty to have regard to the effect on the environment of activities connected with the generation, transmission, distribution and supply of electricity and gas and, when performing its duties, to have regard to the need to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development. These duties are set out in Part 1 of the Gas Act 1986 and Electricity Act 1989.

The Government will set out its vision for the GB energy market as part of the forthcoming Energy White Paper, which will address the transformation of our energy system in the context of delivering net zero by 2050.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what support her Department provides to ETSI in relation to the development of (a) quantum communications technology standards and (b) quantum key distribution.

Having agreed technical standards enables industry to provide products and services that work together and are an essential part of the electronic communications world. ETSI is one of the main standards organisations in this area. DCMS leads on standards for digital and electronic communications and pays the UK government membership fee to ETSI. DCMS is active on the board and a number of technical committees and coordinates the UK industry relationship with ETSI. The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) lead the technical work on quantum communications and quantum-safe cryptography from a UK government perspective.

The NPL has had a long-standing involvement with the ETSI Industry Specification Group (ISG) on quantum key distribution (ETSI ISG-QKD), acting as rapporteur for the creation of a published guidance document ETSI GS QKD 011 (2016) that created the first measurement ‘standard’ in quantum technologies. The NPL continues to contribute to the drafting of test standards through ETSI ISG-QKD and will continue to explore where it would be beneficial for the UK to have further participation in other standards organisations, eg. ITU and ISO.

The NCSC is not a member of the ETSI ISG-QKD but has worked with the group to provide security assurance of QKD products; and has been closely involved in the ETSI Quantum Safe Cryptography (QSC) group since its establishment – this group is focussed on transitioning internet security to using algorithms that could not be broken by a quantum computer.

As part of the National Quantum Technologies Programme (NQTP), Government supports research in quantum communications, which is co-ordinated through a hub led by the University of York. The hub’s expert advice contributes to standard setting through ETSI. Launched in 2014, the hub will have received around £48m in UKRI funding by 2024. In order to continue to develop these technologies towards commercialisation BEIS also funds collaborative quantum communications projects with industry through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) Commercialising quantum technologies challenge.

14th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate her Department has made of the tariffs that will be imposed on Nissan's UK operations after the UK leaves the EU.

The Political Declaration establishes the parameters for an ambitious and flexible partnership across trade and economic cooperation through a Free Trade Agreement with the EU A key objective is to ensure that there are no tariffs, fees or quantitative restrictions across sectors, with modern and accompanying Rules of Origin, and ambitious customs arrangements.

We have not offered guarantees to Nissan specifically with respect to tariffs.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
14th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the Government has plans to diverge from the EU on employment rights after the UK leaves the EU.

It is a priority to make the UK the best place in the world to work. The Government has committed to protect and enhance workers’ rights after the UK leaves the EU. Workers’ rights in the UK already go above the EU minimum standards in a number of areas and as such the UK already diverges from these in a way which is positive for UK workers.

14th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if she will publish the guarantees offered to Nissan with respect to tariffs upon the UK's exit from the EU.

The Political Declaration establishes the parameters for an ambitious and flexible partnership across trade and economic cooperation through a Free Trade Agreement with the EU. A key objective is to ensure that there are no tariffs, fees or quantitative restrictions across sectors, with modern and accompanying Rules of Origin, and ambitious customs arrangements.

We have not offered guarantees to Nissan specifically with respect to tariffs.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
29th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 25 November 2021 to Question 79366, what the (a) budget and (b) FTE staffing is of the UK US Tech Partnership; with which UK organisations that Partnership (i) works and (ii) has engaged with; to whom that Partnership reports; and if she will make a statement.

The US-UK Tech Partnership aims to strengthen and structure new and our bilateral cooperation in areas such as the resilience and security of critical supply chains, and emerging technologies including artificial intelligence and quantum, and to improve the accessibility and flow of data to support economic growth, public safety and scientific and technological progress. The partnership provides the framework for existing and new work between the UK and US on digital and tech.

DCMS and HMG Departments are working with multiple departments and agencies in the US Government to progress key priority policies under the Tech partnership including the US Office for Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the Department for Commerce.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
29th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 29 November 2021 to Question 80988, for what reason advertising on online services and broadcast services is regulated differently with regard to length of adverts.

For television, the restrictions on the amount and scheduling of advertising are set out in Ofcom’s Code on the Scheduling of Television Advertising (COSTA). No such restrictions apply to commercial radio stations.

COSTA places no limits on the amount of advertising an on-demand programme service can show. Regulation designed for broadcast services has not always been directly transposed to apply to online services. This reflects the more complex, non-linear nature of online advertising. The regulation of online advertising is currently under review.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
24th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether there are restrictions on the (a) length or (b) nature of advertising ITV shows on ITV hub.

There are currently no limits on the amount of advertising Ofcom regulated on-demand services (such as ITVHub) can show. However, there are restrictions on the type and content of advertising that appear on on-demand services. These are set out in Section 368F of the Communications Act. Ofcom has designated the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to enforce the rules.

The advertising must adhere to the content and placement standards set out in the advertising codes, namely the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising (CAP Code). This code sets out the principles for advertisers that their marketing content should be legal, decent and honest.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what trans-Atlantic technology co-operation her Department is supporting (a) generally and (b) in the field of telecommunications; and how does that support compare with that of the Trade and Technology Council.

The US and the UK are the very closest of partners, with cooperation extending from security and defence, to trade and prosperity, to science and technology among many other areas. During President Biden's visit in June this year, he and the Prime Minister announced a landmark UK-US Tech Partnership, which would build on our already strong tech relationship to ensure we are equipped to deal with the biggest challenges we face today. We continue to work closely with both the US and Australia as part of AUKUS, which will include cooperation on artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and cyber capabilities.

The UK-US Tech Partnership is result focused and based on deep and practical technical cooperation.The partnership aims to strengthen UK-US cooperation in areas such as the resilience and security of critical supply chains, and emerging technologies including artificial intelligence and quantum, and to improve the accessibility and flow of data to support economic growth, public safety and scientific and technological progress.

As part of the partnership, we are taking forward collaborative activities to promote a more open and diverse telecoms equipment market, including opportunities for joint research and development and developing proposals on future wireless technology, such as 6G.

This range of cooperation puts us on an extremely strong footing with US collaboration and we intend to deepen it further.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the impact and cost to businesses, specifically smaller businesses, of the Information Commissioner’s Office’s requirement for (a) data service providers and (b) other companies to inform individuals on every occasion that their electoral roll data is used for non-electoral purposes.

Current guidance from the Information Commissioner's Office does not require that companies inform individuals on every occasion that their electoral roll data is used for non-electoral purposes. A version of the electoral roll, known as the 'open register' or 'edited register', may be used by businesses for a wide range of purposes, such as for checking name and address details. Businesses using people’s personal information from this register do not have to inform them or seek their consent on every occasion.

A number of safeguards apply to the personal information on this register and its uses, including the opportunity for people to opt-out. Furthermore, processing of this information must comply with the requirements of the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA), and organisations that process personal data to send marketing communications must also comply with the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR).

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the UK’s independent regulator for data protection and has published information about use of the electoral register and how people can opt out of the open register, available at: https://ico.org.uk/your-data-matters/electoral-register. Guidance for organisations on compliance with the UK’s data protection laws can be found at: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/. The ICO also has a web hub for small businesses and other small organisations, available at: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/sme-web-hub/.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the impact of digital exclusion in the North East on the ability of individuals to access (a) education, (b) skills and (c) employment; and what steps she is taking to minimise that impact.

To gain further understanding of the regional capacities and imbalances in the UK digital economy, DCMS recently published an Assessing the UK’s Regional Ecosystems Report. The report notes that whilst household internet access in the North East is in line with the UK (median) average (94%), it is amongst the lowest UK regions for adults using the internet overall (89%) and for internet users finding information online for work / study (36%).

To help improve this, the government has introduced a range of opportunities to access skills training and gain digital skills qualifications. It has introduced the Digital Skills Entitlement for adults with no or low digital skills. Adults can undertake specified digital qualifications, up to level one, free of charge. It also offers access to digital bootcamps as a way for people to undertake digital skills training in skills that are in particularly high demand by industry. From May 2021, the government has been offering 33 free Level 3 digital skills courses to adults aged 19-24 as part of the Lifetime Skills Guarantee.

In September 2021, the Government body, the Inclusive Economy Partnership (IEP), partnered with industry leaders to launch the Digital Inclusion Impact Group to tackle digital exclusion. One of the pilot programmes is Dell Donate to Educate, which will support children across England with the right access to technology at school and at home.

DCMS’s Digital Lifeline fund provided tablets, data and free digital support to over 5,000 people with learning disabilities who would otherwise find it difficult to get online. In the North East, 387 people received devices and data through the scheme.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for International Trade on supporting the semiconductor industry to export.

The Department for International Trade have a range of existing support for UK semiconductor exporters, including the Export Support Service and new trade and investment hubs in the UK. DIT will also be supporting UK tech companies at international exhibitions in 2022, such as the Consumer Electronics Show, Mobile World Congress and Photonics West. Such programmes bring benefits of the government’s global trade policy to the whole of the UK, with the semiconductor sector widely dispersed across the UK, including the South Wales Compound Semiconductor and Applications Cluster.

Due to the ongoing semiconductor shortage and the importance of semiconductor technology to the wider digital ecosystem, DCMS are leading a review of our international and domestic approach to semiconductor supply chains. This will include an assessment of measures that could improve long term resilience within the semiconductor supply chain. We will be working closely with DIT as we do this, to establish where closer trade and investment links can add most value.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of the recommendation of the North East LEP report, entitled Digital Exclusion in the North East LEP Area, published in September 2021, to introduce short, practical courses and advice on digital skills delivered in informal, community-based settings.

The Digital Exclusion in the North East LEP Area report highlights priority actions for tackling the economic and skills impacts of digital exclusion. As mentioned in the report, digital inclusion is a complex issue. Addressing this challenge requires collaboration between the government, businesses and academia.

To gain and develop essential digital skills, the government introduced a new digital entitlement for adults with low digital skills to undertake improved basic skills qualifications free of charge.

The Government has introduced a range of opportunities to access digital skills training and gain digital skills qualifications, including through short courses. Digital bootcamps offer digital skills training in skills that are in particularly high demand from industry. The courses are free, flexible and last up to 16 weeks. At Budget it was announced that there would be further investment in skills bootcamps, with the aim to quadruple the number of places.

To embed digital skills into the higher education and further education curriculum and as part of the National Data Strategy skills commitments, the government has committed to test the most effective ways to teach foundational data skills to undergraduates in two ways – through offering modules including wider subjects such as AI, cyber and digital skills, and by integrating data skills in other subject areas. Universities will take part in the pilot on a voluntary basis.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps is she taking to ensure that the victims of the Football Index scandal are compensated for their losses on investments.

The government appreciates the significant impact that the collapse of the novel gambling product Football Index had on former customers. BetIndex, the company which operated Football Index, went into liquidation on 5 November. The process is continuing and it is likely that this will result in some amounts being reimbursed to creditors. There is no compensation scheme for losses caused by a gambling firm ceasing to operate and the government does not think it would be appropriate to use public funds for these purposes.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of digital exclusion on the ability of individuals to access (a) online training, (b) job searches and (c) virtual interviews.

The Government’s 10 Tech Priorities include building a tech savvy nation where no-one is left behind by the digital revolution. For this reason, the government is working to ensure that everyone has digital access to further their training and improve employment prospects.

We recognise that it is not enough for people to just have good mobile and broadband coverage. They also need to have affordable access and have the devices and skills to be able to take part in the digital economy.

On devices, the government is tackling the digital divide for adults with learning disabilities through our £2.5m Digital Lifeline fund. Throughout the pandemic, this fund has provided tablets, data and free digital support to over 5,000 people with learning disabilities, enabling them to connect with friends and family, and access services and support groups, promoting overall well being. The Lifeline fund, now in the process of evaluation, also provided mentoring and sustained support for users to increase their digital skills and confidence.

The Government is making sure that training is available for all adults wishing to acquire digital skills. In order to guarantee opportunities to develop essential digital skills, the government introduced a new digital entitlement for adults with low digital skills to undertake improved basic skills qualifications free of charge. Essential Digital Skills qualifications (EDSQs), introduced alongside the digital entitlement at entry level and level 1, are a new qualification type based on employer-supported national standards for essential digital skills, which set out the digital skills people need to get on in life and work. (Level one qualifications are GCSE grades 3, 2, 1 or grades D, E, F, G).

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions her Department has had with local authorities in the North East on how to provide targeted support to disadvantaged and socially excluded groups who are most likely to experience digital exclusion.

The Government, industry and the third sector are working closely together to ensure the UK has the digital skills it requires for life and for work.

DCMS officials recently held a roundtable with local stakeholders in the North East to share insights on how to support access into the digital sector locally. We recently published a report using the findings from the roundtable, which provides suggestions on how to further help level up the North East’s digital ecosystem.

To help support those with learning disabilities, the Digital Lifeline fund provides tablets, data and free digital support to over 5,000 people with learning disabilities who would otherwise find it difficult to get online. In the North East, 387 people received devices and data as part of the Digital Lifeline between February 2021 and October 2021.

DCMS has had initial discussions with the North East LEP who have expressed an interest in setting up a regional digital skills partnership. Such a partnership would bring together local cross-sector partners to design, develop and coordinate the delivery of digital skills programmes to upskill the current workforce, tackle digital exclusion and raise awareness of the importance of digital skills regionally.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions she has had with the Information Commissioner’s Office on the draft direct marketing code of practice; and what steps she is taking to ensure the provision of clear guidance on the types of data profiling use which are prohibited under the UK GDPR.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the UK’s independent data protection regulator. It has a statutory duty to produce a code of practice that provides practical guidance for organisations on carrying out direct marketing in accordance with the data protection legislation and the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003. When the final code is published, it will include guidance for organisations on how to make sure that any profiling for direct marketing purposes is done in a way that is fair, lawful and transparent. The ICO will also make available practical tools alongside the code, to help support organisations in their direct marketing activities.

The ICO has a duty to consult with the Secretary of State and other interested parties on the development of the code and the ICO engaged with DCMS during the consultation phases last year. It will submit the code formally for the Secretary of State to lay in Parliament in due course.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
16th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of on 8 November 2021 to Question 71330 on Ofcom: Recruitment, how many staff on a FTE basis Ofcom has employed to support its duties under the Telecoms Security Bill as at 6 April 2021.

The Ofcom security budget for this financial year has been increased by £4.6 million. This funding will allow Ofcom to more than double the number of staff working on telecoms security by April 2022 by hiring around 30 FTE. This includes hiring a multi-skilled team including technical, enforcement and legal experts.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans the Government has to produce a UK national cloud strategy; and how much the Government plans to invest in the UK domestic cloud computing sector.

In September, Go-Science set out an authoritative report into the provision of large scale computing for the government, of which cloud computing will be an important part. We have no plans to publish a UK national cloud strategy but the government recognises that cloud will be an important enabler in delivering a range of government digital policies and the objectives set out in the recently published Artificial Intelligence strategy, the National Data Strategy and our National Cyber Security Strategy. The forthcoming Digital Strategy will set out a vision for the UK's digital future as a whole.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
8th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many FTE staff Ofcom has recruited to support its duties under the Telecommunications (Security) Bill; and how many FTE staff it plans to recruit for those duties in 2022-23 and 2023-24.

The Ofcom security budget for this financial year has been increased by £4.6 million. This funding will allow Ofcom to more than double the number of staff working on telecoms security by the end of this financial year. This includes hiring a multi-skilled team including technical, enforcement and legal experts.

We are committed to ensuring that Ofcom will have adequate resources to take forward its work under the Telecommunications (Security) Bill. Longer term security funding for Ofcom was agreed as part of the recent Spending Review and the government will be able to provide more details on this funding following the conclusion of the Government's business planning process.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
8th Nov 2021