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)
10th Apr 2020 - 29th Nov 2021
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


Scheduled Event
Wednesday 14th September 2022
Ten Minute Rule Motion - Main Chamber
Details to be provided
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Department Event
Tuesday 18th October 2022
11:30
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Oral questions - Main Chamber
18 Oct 2022, 11:30 a.m.
Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (including Topical Questions)
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Division Votes
None available
Speeches
Thursday 21st July 2022
Oral Answers to Questions
9. What steps she is taking to ensure that workers’ rights are maintained in all UK free trade agreements.
Written Answers
Thursday 28th July 2022
Homes for Ukraine Scheme
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 14 July 2022 to Question …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 11th July 2022
3. Gifts, benefits and hospitality from UK sources
Name of donor: Sky Ltd
Address of donor: Grant Way, Isleworth TW7 5QD
Amount of donation or nature and value …
EDM signed
Monday 28th March 2022
P&O Ferries and DP World
That this House condemns in the strongest possible terms the decision of P&O Ferries to fire 800 staff without notice …
Supported Legislation
Football Regulation Bill 2017-19
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Chi Onwurah has voted in 495 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
Nadhim Zahawi (Conservative)
Chancellor of the Exchequer
(128 debate interactions)
Matt Warman (Conservative)
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
(116 debate interactions)
Amanda Solloway (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
(31 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(168 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(37 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
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

23rd March 2022
Chi Onwurah signed this EDM on Monday 28th March 2022

P&O Ferries and DP World

Tabled by: Karl Turner (Labour - Kingston upon Hull East)
That this House condemns in the strongest possible terms the decision of P&O Ferries to fire 800 staff without notice or consultation with their trade unions, the RMT and Nautilus; demands the immediate reinstatement of the sacked workers; condemns their replacement with agency workers earning as little as £1.80 per …
125 signatures
(Most recent: 27 Apr 2022)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 94
Scottish National Party: 12
Liberal Democrat: 7
Independent: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Democratic Unionist Party: 3
Alba Party: 2
Green Party: 1
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
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 …
68 signatures
(Most recent: 27 Apr 2022)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 63
Independent: 2
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Scottish National 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

1 Adjournment Debate led by Chi Onwurah

Chi Onwurah has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

1 Bill co-sponsored by Chi Onwurah

Football Regulation Bill 2017-19
Sponsor - Christian Matheson (LAB)


1705 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
11 Other Department Questions
20th Jul 2022
To ask the President of COP26, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the findings and recommendations of the Climate Change Committee’s 2022 Progress Report to Parliament.

I met with the chair of the Climate Change Committee following the publication of the report.

The Cabinet’s Climate Action Implementation Committee, which I chair, has also had an initial discussion on the findings of the report.

The Government will set out a formal response later this year.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
13th Jul 2022
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what steps she is taking to ensure that new technologies are deployed in accordance with equalities legislation.

In its recently published Strategic Plan 2022 to 2025, the Equality and Human Rights Commission singled out digital services and artificial intelligence as one of its strategic priorities. The Commission intends to intervene where necessary to ensure that people are protected from discrimination online, just as they must be in more traditional settings.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
4th Jul 2022
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what assessment she has made of (a) the contribution of STEM careers to social mobility and (b) the adequacy of the Social Mobility Commission's new Social Mobility Index to (i) assess and (ii) improve diversity in STEM careers.

We must draw on all our available talent and inspire more young people, including those currently under-represented in the STEM workforce, to take up STEM subjects and careers. Our focus on STEM diversity is primarily because of its importance to the UK's continued growth and its impact on wider society. STEM sector jobs are, on average, higher paid than those in the retail and care sectors, so supporting under-represented people into STEM helps their income, and supports our levelling up agenda.

The Equality Hub’s focus is on data and evidence, and a commitment to sharing that across Government so that we can all develop practical interventions that we know will have an impact. Officials work closely with other relevant departments, as well as academics and other organisations working in the sector to improve the shared evidence base.

The Social Mobility Commission (SMC), an independent body sponsored by the Equality Hub in the Cabinet Office, looks at social mobility from a UK perspective. The Social Mobility Commission's new Index does not focus on any one sector or industry, but looks at occupational classes more broadly, using the NS-SEC classifications from the ONS Labour Force Survey.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
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
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
18th Jul 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what his Department's expected timeframe is for Minister or Department to respond to an hon. Member's email on behalf on a constituent; and what steps his Department is taking to tackle incidences of responses being outstanding for several months.

The Cabinet Office attaches great importance to the effective and timely handling of correspondence from MPs and Peers. On 26 May 2022, we published data on the timeliness of government responses to correspondence from MPs and Peers for 2021 on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/data-on-responses-to-correspondence-from-mps-and-peers-2021. Cabinet Office timeliness improved each quarter of 2021, with 89% of correspondence received from hon. Members in quarter four responded to within 20 working days.

As per the Guide to Handling Correspondence, updated by the Cabinet Office in July 2021, the target response time set by Departments for correspondence must not exceed 20 working days. The Cabinet Office continues to keep its own processes under review to further improve the time taken to respond.

Michael Ellis
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
4th Jul 2022
To ask the Prime Minister, with reference to his oral contribution of 15 June 2022, Official Report, col 281, that in the first five months of this year this country has attracted £16 billion of investment in its tech sector, helped by the 130 per cent super deduction for business investment from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what (a) the evidential basis is for his remarks, (b) the sources are for the figures cited and (c) proportion of the £16 billion was eligible for the super deduction.

I refer the Hon. Member to the Official Report, 6 July 2022, col. 11MC.

The source was the Dealroom Tech Health Check which is available at https://dealroom.co/blog/uk-tech-health-check-london-tech-week-2022.

This Government has been creating the right tax environment to promote investment and innovation. That is why we introduced the 130% super-deduction for capital investment and increased the Annual Investment Allowance from £200,000 to £1 million. We also have specific tax reliefs aimed at encouraging Venture Capital and early-stage investment, such as the Enterprise Investment Scheme and the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme.

Boris Johnson
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
4th Jul 2022
To ask the Prime Minister, with reference to his oral contribution of 22 June 2022, Official Report, col 840, that there is record venture capital investment in this country, which has now overtaken China as a venue for venture capital investment, what (a) data and (b) sources he is citing.

I refer the Hon. Member to the Official Report, 6 July 2022, col. 11MC.

The source was the Dealroom Tech Health Check which is available at https://dealroom.co/blog/uk-tech-health-check-london-tech-week-2022.

This Government has been creating the right tax environment to promote investment and innovation. That is why we introduced the 130% super-deduction for capital investment and increased the Annual Investment Allowance from £200,000 to £1 million. We also have specific tax reliefs aimed at encouraging Venture Capital and early-stage investment, such as the Enterprise Investment Scheme and the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme.

Boris Johnson
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
7th Jun 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of the proposed reduction of civil servants on employment in the North East.

The Prime Minister has told Secretaries of State and Permanent Secretaries to work together on producing a plan for returning the Civil Service workforce numbers to 2016 levels over the next three years. This work will be overseen by the Efficiency and Value for Money Cabinet Committee.

Places for Growth is contributing towards the Declaration on Government Reform and the Levelling Up priority by increasing the geographic spread of Civil Servants across the UK, increasing opportunities for people from a wider range of places, including establishing the Darlington Economic Campus where more than 110 HM Treasury staff are now in post. As the Levelling Up White Paper set out, departments have committed to moving more than 15,000 Civil Service roles out of Greater London by 2025, and 22,000 by 2030.

Secretaries of State will lead the drive for reductions within their departments and the Civil Service organisations for which they have responsibility. Planning is underway, with departments considering opportunities and the potential impacts that need to be mitigated. As plans are still in development, no decisions have yet been made.

Jacob Rees-Mogg
Minister of State (Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency)
14th Mar 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the level of risk to UK citizens' data where that data is hosted on public cloud providers; and steps his Department takes to protect UK citizens' data on public cloud providers.

It is the responsibility of every government department, including the Cabinet Office, to make a risk-based assessment of their use of cloud providers for the storage of government data up to “OFFICIAL” level, including UK citizens’ data. When considering a commercial provider, departments should take into account the cloud security principles developed by the National Cyber Security Centre (https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/implementing-cloud-security-principles).

The Cabinet Office carries out this risk assessment for each service it delivers to ensure that appropriate controls are in place to protect citizen data.

Departments are required to follow the Technology Code of Practice when choosing a cloud provider, and this is assessed as part of the spend controls function. Departments must show that they have chosen the technology which provides the best value for money while meeting user needs. The Central Digital & Data Office carries out ongoing engagement with departments to review their decision-making about hosting. This includes qualitative analysis through user research as well as spend controls.

Heather Wheeler
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
28th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 20 January 2022 to Question 105512 on Government Departments: Procurement, whether his Department has responsibility for the social value of Government spend.

Individual departments are responsible for their own commercial decisions, including the award of contracts.

In 2020, we launched a new model to deliver social value through Government's commercial activities. Central government organisations should use this model to take account of the additional social benefits that can be achieved in the delivery of its contracts, using policy outcomes aligned with this Government’s priorities.

Michael Ellis
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 14 January 2022 to Question 101713, what estimate he has made of the cost implications of being locked into one supplier when determining value for money; whether his Department has made an assessment of the social and security value of supporting UK suppliers; and whether his Department is responsible for the economic and social impacts of individual Government Department outsourcing decisions.

Each Buying Authority has their own commercial spend controls that apply to their contracts with suppliers. Value-for-money and cost implications will vary on a case-by-case basis and it is down to each department to determine what these are in their respective circumstances. The Technology Code of Practice ensures that departments have multiple options available with a range of suppliers.

The driving principle behind public procurement policy is to award contracts on the basis of value for money. That means the optimum combination of cost and quality over the lifetime of the project, not just price alone. The best way to test for and to demonstrate this principle is via an open competition, as is required in most cases by public procurement legislation.

The government wants UK businesses to be successful in bidding for UK public contracts. That is why this government is committed to the procurement reform bill which will provide simpler, less bureaucratic processes for our businesses and better commercial outcomes for our public bodies - all while continuing to comply with our international commitments.

Through our new approach to extend the use of the Social Value Act, effective from 1 January 2021, additional social benefits can be taken into account in the delivery of contracts in a streamlined and standardised way, using policy outcomes aligned to this government’s priorities. From creating jobs and skills, building diverse supply chains and working towards Net Zero, embedding social value in procurement can help us to invest in our communities.

In addition to training commercial staff and making detailed guidance available to all on gov.uk, Cabinet Office and DCMS are working with supplier representative bodies and other external stakeholders to continue to build awareness.

Michael Ellis
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
11th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the Government has competitive suppliers for cloud services; and what the the maximum proportion of cloud services the Government will place with one supplier is.

There are a range of suppliers that compete to offer services via a number of framework agreements through the Crown Commercial Service, such as G-Cloud and Cloud Compute. Pricing and commercial offers in this industry are very competitive between suppliers.

Government does not place a cap on the proportion of cloud services provided by any of the current suppliers. Government Departments conduct their own assessments around value for money and implement their outsourcing strategies accordingly to meet their needs.

Michael Ellis
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
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
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
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
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
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
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
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
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.

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what plans he has to centralise digital identification verification processes for Government Departments.

The Government committed funding at last year’s Spending Review to develop the first stage of an ambitious cross-government single sign-on and digital identity solution. Our vision is for members of the public to be able to access any online central government service simply, safely and securely using a single sign-on.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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)
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.

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.

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.

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.

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)
18th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 18 July 2022 to Question 33780 on Innovate UK: Expenditure, what data Innovate UK collects on the (a) types of companies it invests in and (b) the level of success of those companies; and if he will publish a breakdown of Innovate UK's annual spending by (i) technology and (ii) service sector.

Data collected by Innovate UK includes self-declared enterprise size. Their focus for measuring success is through formal evaluation of their programmes which will include data at a company level. Innovate UK are in the process of embedding their impact management framework which will collect data from the organisation supported to provide throughout the project lifecycle enabling them to understand the impact journey of those they support.

Innovate UK support plays a key role in bringing together different sectors to solve challenges through innovative technology use. Their thematic programmes do focus on certain challenges but rarely specify the technology and often cross sectors.

Jane Hunt
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much his Department has spent on knowledge exchange activities; and with which organisations.

The Government has committed significant funds to support knowledge exchange between universities and the wider economy and society. Through its constituent research councils and Innovate UK, UK Research Innovation (UKRI) provided £166 million in 2021/22 to support knowledge exchange and commercialisation activity.

In addition to this, Research England’s Higher Education Innovation Funding and Research England Development Fund allocated £277 million to support knowledge exchange in universities in England in the same year. Research England manages the Connecting Capabilities Fund which has allocated £125 million.

Jane Hunt
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 14 July 2022 to Question 33779 Innovate UK: Expenditure, for what reason the total awarded by Innovate UK reduced from £1,491m to £815m between 2020 and 2021; and whether that reduction will be matched by an equivalent increase in 2022 or 2023.

The higher grant figure for projects starting in 2020 compared to 2021 was a combination of two large programmes (Strength in Places, and the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult Manufacturing Innovation Centre) and Innovate UK’s part in responding to the Covid-19 pandemic which saw them launch three major programmes to help the UK business innovation ecosystem navigate the shock of the global pandemic.

Jane Hunt
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when the Government plans to appoint a Minister for Research, Science, and Innovation.

The appointment of Ministers is a matter for my Rt hon Friend the Prime Minister.

Jane Hunt
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he plans to publish the review commissioned by his Department of the latest scientific evidence around shale gas extraction; if he will publish the evidence used in that review; and if he plans to issue a response.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Hornsey and Wood Green on 6 July 2022 to Question 28901.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he will take to assess the long-term carbon emissions impact of a renewed shale gas industry in his decision on lifting the outstanding moratorium on hydraulic fracturing.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Hornsey and Wood Green on 6 July 2022 to Question 28901.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to encourage the adoption of new photonic technology by manufacturing and agricultural businesses.

‘Electronics, Photonics and Quantum’ was one of seven technology families defined by the Government in the Innovation Strategy (HMG 2021), which highlighted UK strengths in high potential emerging technologies.

The UK is a global leader in photonics, which contributed £14.5 billion to the UK economy in 2020. Government is keen to see this contribution grow across many applications, including manufacturing and agriculture. Agriculture was specifically cited in the Innovation Strategy as a domain for the convergence of the technology families.

Photonics was also included within the National Security Investment Act (NSI) to ensure its growth and adoption is secure.

Jane Hunt
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the total spend was of Innovate UK in each of the last five years; and what proportion of that spending went on universities.

The information requested is as follows:

Year

Total Award by Innovate UK

Award to Academic Institutions

Academic Institutions % of total

2017

£1,045m

£159m

15%

2018

£2,353m

£179m

8%

2019

£1,097m

£207m

19%

2020

£1,491m

£243m

16%

2021

£815m

£125m

15%

Jane Hunt
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish a breakdown of Innovate UK's annual spending by (a) sector, (b) funding stage and (c) technology preparedness level.

Innovate UK’s business awarded grant support by Sector based on their Company House registered Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code (where available):

SIC 2007 Section Description

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

2022

Accommodation and Food Service

£0.34m

£0.86m

£0.06m

Administrative and Support Service

£19.09m

£17.30m

£57.93m

£39.52m

£23.77m

£3.78m

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing

£4.10m

£4.10m

£39.1m

£8.28m

£2.88m

£1.46m

Arts, Entertainment and Recreation

£0.12m

£0.44m

£1.65m

£2.29m

£1.38m

£0.15m

Construction

£2.62m

£4.49m

£7.68m

£8.09m

£1.61m

£0.36m

Education

£0.33m

£3.18m

£2.12m

£5.81m

£0.70m

£0.79m

Electricity, Gas etc.

£2.75m

£2.37m

£20.06m

£6.50m

£4.26m

£0.57m

Financial and Insurance

£1.93m

£0.98m

£4.86m

£9.45m

£6.42m

£0.09m

Human Health and Social Work

£1.96m

£7.04m

£9.27m

£9.97m

£3.75m

£2.56m

Information and Communication

£69.90m

£73.02m

£89.01m

£172.27m

£99.32m

£25.08m

Manufacturing

£313.78m

£318.42m

£221.84m

£361.92m

£241.56m

£32.31m

Mining and Quarrying

£0.40m

£1.14m

£0.85m

£2.64m

£2.80m

£0.04m

Other Service

£12.22m

£3.63m

£4.29m

£7.03m

£6.90m

£1.76m

Professional, Scientific and Technical

£167.26m

£190.60m

£229.29m

£261.64m

£180.19m

£49.85m

Public Administration

£0.14m

£0.07m

£1.79m

£1.93m

£0.08m

Real Estate

£0.11m

£0.33m

£0.44m

£2.84m

£0.54m

Transportation and Storage

£4.79m

£1.02m

£2.35m

£7.00m

£2.09m

£0.30m

Water & Sewage

£3.16m

£3.84m

£1.56m

£5.80m

£5.34m

£1.68m

Wholesale & Retail

£9.01m

£7.53m

£18.44m

£16.36m

£9.52m

£2.94m

Unknown / Not Provided

£24.15m

£19.08m

£43.43m

£7.09m

£23.39m

£4.46m

Data is not routinely collected on business funding stage. or technology preparedness level. Innovate UK programmes may have a focus for both of these scales but will support a range of innovation within them. Innovate UK’s role is to enable business-led innovation across the UK, helping businesses at all stages grow through technology development and commercialisation

Jane Hunt
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department has put protections in place for small businesses subject to disconnected energy supply without notice by British Gas.

This is a commercial matter. The Government does not have a legal mandate to intervene in private contracts between suppliers and a business customer.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
4th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has had discussions with the Home Secretary on the potential impact of delays in providing short-term visas to visiting academics who are on international research commissioned by UK universities.

My rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State welcomes the recent progress to expand the range and speed of routes for international talent to come and work in the UK. Should the UK be unable to associate to Horizon Europe, continued mobility for researchers will be a top priority.

Jane Hunt
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
4th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made on the impact of UK-based researchers losing or giving up their grants from the European Research Council on (a) the international reputation of UK science and (b) future investment into UK-based research.

The UK’s preference remains to associate to Horizon Europe and we are disappointed that the EU continues to delay this. To provide reassurance, the Government has stepped in to ensure UK-based researchers who have obtained European Research Council grants will not lose out on funding.

Through the UK’s Horizon guarantee, the Government will fund eligible successful UK applicants who expect to sign grant agreements by December 2022 and who have been unable to sign agreements with the EU. This means that UK-based researchers can receive the full value of their funding to take their projects forward at their UK institutions.

Jane Hunt
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the planned timetable is for completion of the Review of the Research, Development and Innovation Organisational Landscape being conducted by Sir Paul Nurse; and if he will publish that report in full when it is presented to his Department.

In leading his independent Review of the Research, Development and Innovation Organisational Landscape, Sir Paul Nurse has undertaken a detailed evidence gathering process, including gathering input from hundreds of organisations in the UK’s RDI landscape. Work is underway to consider and finalise the Review’s recommendations, which will be presented to my rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy prior to publication.

29th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of reintroducing imperial measurements on levels of future R&D investment in the UK.

The Government has launched its consultation ‘Choice on units of measurement: markings and sales’. The consultation seeks further views on the potential impact of any changes to the law and an impact assessment will be carried out in due course.

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
29th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has had recent discussions with UKRI on the reintroduction of imperial measurements.

The Government is reviewing the current law on units of measurement and has recently launched its consultation, ‘Choice on units of measurement: markings and sales’.

BEIS has not discussed this with UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) but continues to gather views through this early-stage consultation.

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
29th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the (a) carbon footprint of the methane plasma process for producing hydrogen and (b) suitability of that process for Government decarbonisation grants such as the net zero hydrogen fund.

The most common form of converting methane into hydrogen is through steam or thermal reformation. Plasma technology could also be used to convert methane into hydrogen, but this has not yet been proven at commercial scale. This was not one of the hydrogen production routes modelled to support the development of the UK Low Carbon Hydrogen Standard as this was not considered to be amongst the main potential routes for production in the UK pipeline and lacked broadly available emissions data. As set out in the standard, the Government welcomes evidence from stakeholders on emerging technologies and potential production routes that could contribute to the UK’s future net zero energy system.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
28th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 21 June 2022 to Question 16933 on Fuels: Prices, what estimate he has made of the proportion of the difference in retail petrol prices between 2014 and 2022 that is the result of changes in (a) traded wholesale prices for the fuels and (b) exchange rates; and if he will publish those prices and exchange rates.

UK petrol and diesel prices since 2014 have been primarily driven by the underlying price in the global market of crude oil. These are also influenced by exchange rates and a range of other supply and demand factors specific to the wholesale markets for the fuels, including stock levels, logistics and distribution costs and seasonal demand variations.

BEIS publishes weekly national average pump prices online at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/weekly-road-fuel-prices.

BEIS does not publish wholesale prices nor UK exchange rates.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
23rd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether Innovate UK uses agile project management as a criteria for performance management for recipients of its grants.

Projects need to be managed against the plan that has been provided, but the project management methodology is up to the applicant, based on what best meets the needs of the innovation.

13th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the difference in petrol pump prices in (a) June 2022 and (b) 2014; and whether he has made an assessment of the implications of those prices on UK (i) refinery capacity and (ii) refined petrol competition.

In 2014 nominal fuel prices in the UK averaged 127.4 pence/litre (petrol) and 133.5 pence/litre (diesel), compared to average June 2022 prices (to 13/06/22) of 179.0 (petrol) and 187.9 (diesel). The changes in retail prices largely reflect those in traded wholesale prices for the fuels and exchange rates.

The nameplate atmospheric distillation capacity of all UK refineries decreased from 74.6 million tonnes/year at the end of 2013 to 62.3 million tonnes/year in March 2021.

The Government has asked the Competition and Markets Authority to conduct an urgent review of the fuel market, to explore whether the retail fuel market has adversely affected consumer interests.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department is taking steps to de-risk innovative, high tech spinouts from universities for investors.

Improving our ability to commercialise ideas from our world-leading research base is critical to becoming an Innovation Nation. That is why we committed in the Innovation Strategy to enhance the broad system of support for commercialisation, and why we provide financial support to a significant proportion of high-tech spinouts. This includes UKRI funding to de-risk specific R&D projects, and British Business Bank support for investors providing external capital. In the hon. Member’s own constituency, the Northern Accelerator, a partnership of five universities supported by £8.5 million from UKRI, is de-risking spinouts by establishing a seed investment fund.

7th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the impact of the 50 per cent reduction in funding for business support teams in Local Enterprise Partnerships on (a) start-ups and (b) small and medium-sized enterprises.

The Government provided additional funding to Growth Hubs over the last two years to support businesses through EU Exit Transition and the COVID-19 Pandemic. The funding settlement for 2022/23 represents a return to a level closer to that of previous years.

The core offer of Growth Hub functions and services has the flexibility for Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) to choose how they deliver services, including any enhancements according to local business needs.

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
7th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what data his Department collects on PhD students who fail (a) to complete their projects or (b) at the viva stage, broken down by (i) gender, (ii) race and ethnicity, (iii) social class and (iv) disability.

BEIS does not hold data regarding completion of PhD courses for different student characteristics.

7th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate his Department has made of the number of new clinical trial starts in the UK for Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products within the last 12 months; and whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of measures to incentivise companies to launch new therapies in the UK.

The Government wants NHS patients to benefit from innovative and effective new medicines and accelerated access through clinical research medicine via trials is a major pillar of the Life Sciences Vision. Responsibility for clinical trials sits with DHSC/NIHR but the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended several ATMP that are now routinely funded for NHS patients. Recent initiatives such as the Innovative Licensing and Access Pathway (ILAP) and the Innovative Medicines Fund will further support the rapid introduction of effective new medicines, including ATMP, for the benefit of NHS patients.

Innovate UK and Medical Research Council, as part of UKRI have funded clinical trials in the UK for Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMP). Data is collected on an annual basis and information for 2022 is not yet available. From January 2021 – December 2021 there were 31 new ATMP clinical trial starts in the UK.

6th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to help ensure UK capability for the manufacture of quantum (a) devices and (b) systems.

The National Quantum Technologies Programme, which is set to see £1 billion of public and private funding through its 10 year lifetime (2014-2024), is a collaboration between government, industry, and academia to drive the development of transformative research, products, and services in quantum. As part of this, UK Research and Innovation’s £173 million Commercialising Quantum Technologies Challenge (part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund) includes dedicated funding for projects to remove the obstacles to scale up and to support manufacturing and system or service development. UK academia and industry have been further supported by bodies such as the Compound Semiconductor Catapult and the National Physical Laboratory’s Quantum Metrology Institute to test and validate quantum technologies. In order to build on these existing initiatives, the UK Government is developing a national strategy to be published later this year.

18th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to reduce the use of short-term research contracts in universities; and what plans he has he has to help reduce precarity for early career researchers.

The R&D People and Culture Strategy recognises precarity facing researchers in early-career stages and sets out the actions that government and the R&D sector will take, working together, to address this.

BEIS has established a R&D People and Culture Ministerial Coordination Group to drive the successful implementation of the Strategy. One initial area of focus is supporting dynamic and sustainable career paths, which will look at the actions the sector can take individually and collectively to address early-career precarity alongside the government-led actions set out in the Strategy.

16th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Answer of 25 April 2022 to Question 155735 on Economic and Social Research Council: Public Appointments, on how many occasions in each of the last ten financial years has no candidate been deemed suitable; and whether Professor Michie was deemed suitable by the independent selection panel.

The most recent campaign for an Executive Chair for ESRC is the only campaign on records where no candidate was deemed suitable.

Appointment campaigns are confidential, so it is not possible to disclose details of applicants or the views of the panel.

10th May 2022
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 reported breach of GDPR by Researchfish in respect of researchers who publicly criticised the application on social media.

BEIS and its partner organisations take data protection very seriously. UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) have issued a public statement on recent Researchfish activity.

BEIS and UKRI continue to work together to ensure systems and processes reinforce compliance with GDPR and that appropriate data protection guidance and training is available for all staff.

20th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much funding the Vaccine Manufacturing and Innovation Centre has received from (a) the University of Oxford, (b) the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, (c) Imperial College London, (d) Johnson & Johnson, (e) Merck and (f) Cytiva.

The bids were assessed by the Vaccine Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC Ltd) and VMIC Ltd and its Boards of Directors decided which bids to progress. The criteria used by VMIC Ltd to assess bids is commercially confidential information.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, through the VTF, and UKRI-Innovate UK worked together closely up to and during the sale of the VMIC facility to ensure Government objectives were met.

Questions regarding VMIC’s Ltd’s non-government sources of funding should be directed towards VMIC Ltd.

20th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what guidance his Department provided to UKRI over the sale of the Vaccine Manufacturing and Innovation Centre.

The bids were assessed by the Vaccine Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC Ltd) and VMIC Ltd and its Boards of Directors decided which bids to progress. The criteria used by VMIC Ltd to assess bids is commercially confidential information.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, through the VTF, and UKRI-Innovate UK worked together closely up to and during the sale of the VMIC facility to ensure Government objectives were met.

Questions regarding VMIC’s Ltd’s non-government sources of funding should be directed towards VMIC Ltd.

20th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what role Innovate UK took in assessing the bids for the Vaccine Manufacturing and Innovation Centre; and what criteria were used to assess those bids.

The bids were assessed by the Vaccine Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC Ltd) and VMIC Ltd and its Boards of Directors decided which bids to progress. The criteria used by VMIC Ltd to assess bids is commercially confidential information.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, through the VTF, and UKRI-Innovate UK worked together closely up to and during the sale of the VMIC facility to ensure Government objectives were met.

Questions regarding VMIC’s Ltd’s non-government sources of funding should be directed towards VMIC Ltd.

20th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much funding the guarantee for the first and second waves of successful UK Horizon applications represents; and what budget heading that funding is under.

The Government remains committed to and has taken unprecedented steps to support association to Horizon Europe. This includes detailing our financial commitments in the Spending Review and, as an exceptional step, setting out a guarantee to eligible, successful UK applicants to Horizon Europe, covering calls where grant agreements are signed by December 2022.This will ensure that important individual and collaborative projects can go ahead as planned.

Funding for the guarantee is demand-driven and will depend on the success rates of UK applicants to the Horizon Europe programme, as well as the duration of time the guarantee is operational.

20th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the timeline for eligible UK Horizon applications is from the first and second waves to receive the safety net funding.

The Government has always been clear that our priority is to support the UK’s research and development sector during this period of uncertainty. The guarantee extension announced on March 15, ensures that UK researchers can continue their work and that important international collaborations can continue. This second wave covers all eligible successful applicants to Horizon Europe, covering calls where grant agreements are expected to be signed by December 2022.Details regarding the scope and terms of the guarantee are available on the UKRI (UK Research & Innovation) website.

The guarantee delivered by UKRI allows awardees to receive the full value of their funding, subject to the terms of the guarantee. Detailed guidance on how to access the guarantee funding, and how payments are made, is available on the UKRI website.

20th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to secure association to Horizon.

The UK stands ready to formalise our association to EU programmes at the earliest opportunity. However, the EU’s delays to the UK’s association are putting long term science collaboration at risk.

We are urging the Commission to finalise the UK’s participation in Horizon as soon as possible. My rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State and I have raised the ongoing delays with our counterparts in Europe, including Germany, France, Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden. The UK also discussed association and the delays at the EU-UK Specialised Committee in December 2021.

Supporting the UK’s research and development sector through this period of uncertainty remains our top priority. In order to provide reassurance, the UK Government has guaranteed funding for the first and second waves of eligible successful applicants to Horizon Europe. And if the UK is unable to associate to Horizon Europe we will be ready to introduce a comprehensive alternative programme of international science, research and innovation collaborations.

20th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Minister for Science, Research & Innovation's open letter of 15 March 2022 entitled Horizon Europe Guarantee extension announcement for the UK's R&D sector, when the results of the Government's consultation with the research community on the offering of the UK global research programme will be published.

The Government’s position remains to associate to Horizon, at the earliest opportunity. However persistent delays from the EU are causing uncertainty for the UK’s R&D sector. Supporting the UK’s research and development sector through this period of uncertainty is our top priority. If the UK is unable to associate to Horizon Europe soon and in time to make full use of the opportunities it offers, the Government will introduce a comprehensive alternative programme of international science, research and innovation collaboration, building on those outlined in the R&D Roadmap.

19th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the timeline is for (a) UKRI to guarantee funding for successful UK Horizon Euratom grant applications and (b) providing the second wave of successful UK Horizon Euratom grant applications with the safety net funding; how much money will be dedicated to that safety net; and if he will make it his policy to ensure that the second wave of researchers who have secured Horizon Euratom grants will be covered by UKRI’s grant extension guarantee.

Funding for UK entities, successful in the latest Euratom Research & Training research call, is covered by the existing UKRI guarantee. This ensures UK entities can sign agreements and collaborative nuclear fission projects can go ahead. Relevant Euratom stakeholders have been contacted regarding the availability of the guarantee. £4m of funding has been agreed to provide this guarantee. It remains our policy to associate to Euratom R&T. Contracts for the next wave of Euratom R&T are unlikely to be signed before late 2023 and relevant teams across government will continue to work towards ensuring UK entities have the confidence to apply for the second wave of grants.

19th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reason Innovate UK has decided not to exercise its right to join the board of the Vaccine Manufacturing and Innovation Centre.

Innovate UK didn’t have the right to appoint board members to VMIC Ltd's Board of Directors. Innovate UK and the Vaccines Taskforce did attend VMIC Ltd's Board meetings as Observers.

19th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what salary offer was made to Dr Peter Highnam to join the Advanced Research and Invention Agency as its CEO.

Dr Peter Highnam has withdrawn from accepting the CEO role for personal reasons. Once the agency is operational, full remuneration details of ARIA’s senior leadership team will be published in the usual way and included in the agency’s annual reports and accounts.

19th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reason he vetoed the appointment of Professor Jonathan Michie as a chair of the Economic and Social Research Council.

The initial recruitment campaign returned a strong field of candidates and several were considered by Ministers. However, none were ultimately deemed suitable. Another campaign will start shortly with a view to attracting a wider range of candidates.

14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what return the Government has received on the provision of its grant-funding to the Vaccine Manufacturing and Innovation Centre as part of the completed sale of that organisation; and what assessment he has made of the value for money obtained.

VMIC is a private company and due to commercial sensitivity, we cannot state how much funding we expect to recover from the grants provided to the Vaccine Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC).

The Government is supportive of VMIC Board’s decision to sell its Harwell facility and expects it to deliver strong positive value for money for the taxpayer. Catalent, the facility’s purchaser, is a global leader in the MRNA sector, with substantial experience manufacturing Moderna’s mRNA COVID vaccine, as well as the Pfizer, Janssen and AstraZeneca vaccines. Catalent is planning to invest up to £120m in the facility and provide up to 400 jobs. With this investment, Catalent will be able to complete and sustainable use the facility for the development and manufacture of biologic therapies and vaccines, potentially including mRNA: a valuable contribution to the UK’s vaccine resilience.

28th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much funding has been granted for the first wave of successful UK Horizon applicants as of 28 March 2022; and what funding has been committed for those who were successful in the second wave.

The Government has committed to support successful initial UK applicants to Horizon Europe, who are unable to sign grant agreements with the EU due to delays by the EU in formalising our association to the programme.

On 15 March we announced an extension of the guarantee to a second wave of eligible, successful applicants to ensure that important individual and collaborative projects can go ahead as planned. This will extend the guarantee to grant agreements expected to be signed by December 2022 and will enable awardees to receive the full value of their funding.

Supporting the UK’s research and development sector through this period of uncertainty is our top priority. The agreed funding provisions recognise that this support is demand-driven and determined by the number of successful UK applications. All eligible, successful UK applicants will be supported. As Horizon Europe only recently started, data on successful bids will be reviewed as the programme progresses, and as grants are issued via UKRI.

7th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reasons the Government plans to sell the vaccine manufacturing and Innovation centre; and what the role of (a) VMIC UK Ltd's members and (b) UKRI-Innovate was in that decision.

The Government is not selling the VMIC facility. VMIC UK Ltd is a private company and has always been a private company. The decision to sell was made by VMIC UK Ltd’s Board of Directors. UKRI-Innovate UK and the Vaccine Taskforce are communicating with VMIC to help ensure the UK has a strong onshore vaccine ecosystem.

Innovate UK has exercised its right to be an observer on the VMIC Board of Directors since the inception of VMIC. Innovate UK has been a board observer when the sale of the facility has been discussed.

The Vaccine Taskforce is in contact with VMIC UK Ltd’s Board of Directors following their decision to pursue a sale. Decisions regarding how best to pursue the company’s objectives are made by VMIC UK Ltd’s Board of Directors and executive team. The Government will continue to support the UK’s domestic vaccine manufacturing, vaccine innovation and health emergency response capability.

Details on any potential acquirers of VMIC UK Ltd or any potential return to Government are commercially sensitive.

7th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether any of the potential acquirers the Vaccine Manufacturing and Innovation Centre are industry p[partners of VMIC UK Ltd.

The Government is not selling the VMIC facility. VMIC UK Ltd is a private company and has always been a private company. The decision to sell was made by VMIC UK Ltd’s Board of Directors. UKRI-Innovate UK and the Vaccine Taskforce are communicating with VMIC to help ensure the UK has a strong onshore vaccine ecosystem.

Innovate UK has exercised its right to be an observer on the VMIC Board of Directors since the inception of VMIC. Innovate UK has been a board observer when the sale of the facility has been discussed.

The Vaccine Taskforce is in contact with VMIC UK Ltd’s Board of Directors following their decision to pursue a sale. Decisions regarding how best to pursue the company’s objectives are made by VMIC UK Ltd’s Board of Directors and executive team. The Government will continue to support the UK’s domestic vaccine manufacturing, vaccine innovation and health emergency response capability.

Details on any potential acquirers of VMIC UK Ltd or any potential return to Government are commercially sensitive.

7th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make an assessment of the consistency of the potential the sale of Vaccine Manufacture and Innovation Centre UK Ltd (a) assets and (b) members' interests to a pharmaceutical company with that company's non-profit objectives; and whether the Government has contingency plans to exercise control over that company in the event of a pandemic.

The Government is not selling the VMIC facility. VMIC UK Ltd is a private company and has always been a private company. The decision to sell was made by VMIC UK Ltd’s Board of Directors. UKRI-Innovate UK and the Vaccine Taskforce are communicating with VMIC to help ensure the UK has a strong onshore vaccine ecosystem.

Innovate UK has exercised its right to be an observer on the VMIC Board of Directors since the inception of VMIC. Innovate UK has been a board observer when the sale of the facility has been discussed.

The Vaccine Taskforce is in contact with VMIC UK Ltd’s Board of Directors following their decision to pursue a sale. Decisions regarding how best to pursue the company’s objectives are made by VMIC UK Ltd’s Board of Directors and executive team. The Government will continue to support the UK’s domestic vaccine manufacturing, vaccine innovation and health emergency response capability.

Details on any potential acquirers of VMIC UK Ltd or any potential return to Government are commercially sensitive.

7th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how the proceeds of any sale of VMIC UK Ltd, whether asset sale or share sale, would be allocated; and what the Government's return would be on any potential sale.

The Government is not selling the VMIC facility. VMIC UK Ltd is a private company and has always been a private company. The decision to sell was made by VMIC UK Ltd’s Board of Directors. UKRI-Innovate UK and the Vaccine Taskforce are communicating with VMIC to help ensure the UK has a strong onshore vaccine ecosystem.

Innovate UK has exercised its right to be an observer on the VMIC Board of Directors since the inception of VMIC. Innovate UK has been a board observer when the sale of the facility has been discussed.

The Vaccine Taskforce is in contact with VMIC UK Ltd’s Board of Directors following their decision to pursue a sale. Decisions regarding how best to pursue the company’s objectives are made by VMIC UK Ltd’s Board of Directors and executive team. The Government will continue to support the UK’s domestic vaccine manufacturing, vaccine innovation and health emergency response capability.

Details on any potential acquirers of VMIC UK Ltd or any potential return to Government are commercially sensitive.

7th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether Innovate UK has used its powers to participate in Board meetings of VMIC UK Ltd, including where any sale has been discussed.

The Government is not selling the VMIC facility. VMIC UK Ltd is a private company and has always been a private company. The decision to sell was made by VMIC UK Ltd’s Board of Directors. UKRI-Innovate UK and the Vaccine Taskforce are communicating with VMIC to help ensure the UK has a strong onshore vaccine ecosystem.

Innovate UK has exercised its right to be an observer on the VMIC Board of Directors since the inception of VMIC. Innovate UK has been a board observer when the sale of the facility has been discussed.

The Vaccine Taskforce is in contact with VMIC UK Ltd’s Board of Directors following their decision to pursue a sale. Decisions regarding how best to pursue the company’s objectives are made by VMIC UK Ltd’s Board of Directors and executive team. The Government will continue to support the UK’s domestic vaccine manufacturing, vaccine innovation and health emergency response capability.

Details on any potential acquirers of VMIC UK Ltd or any potential return to Government are commercially sensitive.

7th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the reasons for the regional disparities in Private Non Profit R&D funding in 2019 in the ONS dataset Gross domestic expenditure on research and development, by region; and what steps he is taking to help increase the proportion of Private Non Profit R&D investment outside the Greater South East.

We recognise the important role that the private non-profit sector, such as charities, play in both funding and performing R&D. In 2019, the private non-profit sector funded £1,766 million worth of R&D and performed £843 million of R&D. The Greater South East contributes the highest share of private non-profit expenditure on R&D, with 84% of total expenditure in 2019 vs 16% for outside of the region.

The Levelling Up White Paper shows that we are committed to increasing total investment in R&D across the whole of the UK, of which private non-profit R&D is an important element.

7th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to statement on page 170 of the Levelling Up White Paper that the additional Government investment will seek to leverage twice as much private sector investment over the long term, what baseline figure for leveraging private sector investment was used for that commitment; and what time period is meant by over the long term.

In setting the R&D mission, BEIS referred to published research on leverage, which found that we expect public R&D to leverage at least £2 of private R&D funding for every £1 of public R&D expenditure over the long term. This is based on a 2020 study published by BEIS and conducted by Oxford Economics, which estimates that each £1 of public R&D investment eventually stimulates between £1.96 and £2.34 of private R&D investment, the study found that almost all leverage is realised within 15 years.

BEIS is working with DLUHC and other government departments on measuring and reporting on missions in the Levelling Up White Paper and further detail will be made available in due course.

7th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether Innovate UK has exercised its right to become a voting member of VMIC UK Ltd.

Innovate UK is not a voting member of the VMIC UK Ltd Board of Directors. It holds observer status on the Board.

2nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Government’s press release entitled £260 million to boost healthcare research and manufacturing, published on 2 March 2022, noting that Ortho Clinicals Diagnostics UK, Custom Pharmaceuticals Limited and Randox Laboratories have been awarded funding through the Medicines and Diagnostics Manufacturing Transformation Fund, how much funding has been allocated to the Medicines and Diagnostics Manufacturing Transformation Fund to date; and if he will make it his policy that allocations to that fund will not affect funding for the Life Sciences Innovative Manufacturing Fund.

£5,009m has been allocated to successful Medicines and Diagnostics Manufacturing Transformation Fund (MDMTF) projects to date. These allocations have no impact on the Life Sciences Innovative Manufacturing Fund resource. Applicants from the one-year MDMTF can also apply to the successor fund if the application is for a different project.

2nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department made an assessment of the potential merits of alternatives to the Russian Soyuz rockets for the launch of OneWeb; and what plans his Department has to make an assessment of the potential merits of (a) alternative launch technology source and (b) postponing the launch of the remaining 36 OneWeb satellites so that an alternative launch technology can be identified.

Discussions on alternative launch providers and the roll out of OneWeb satellites are a matter for OneWeb. These commercially sensitive discussions are likely to take time given the fast-changing situation and complexity of launch planning. We will engage with OneWeb in its thinking on alternative launch providers where appropriate.

2nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what progress he has made in allocating the £354 million funding from the Global Britain Investment Fund identified for life sciences manufacturing in Autumn Budget 2021; with reference to the allocation of £60 million to the Life Sciences Innovative Manufacturing Fund, what engagement has he had with UK life sciences companies on allocation of the remaining funding; and what his timescale is for making further announcements on allocations from the Global Britain Investment Fund.

In the Autumn Budget, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced £354 million for UK life sciences manufacturing. This includes funding to further enhance the UK’s health emergency responsiveness and capability in vaccine production. Areas of focus for this funding will include mRNA capability following the success of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, and investments which will strengthen the resilience of the UK’s vaccine supply chains. The Vaccine Taskforce has undertaken considerable market engagement across the global vaccine sector to maximise impact for the UK taxpayers.

The £60 million Life Sciences Innovative Manufacturing Fund (LSIMF) was announced on 2 March 2022. The launch was accompanied by a UK wide engagement of life sciences manufacturing companies, Trade Associations and other key sector stakeholders.

2nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the £60 million funding to expand life sciences manufacturing announced on 2 March 2022 will be subject to his Department’s commitment on page 173 of the Levelling Up White Paper to spend at least 55 per cent of research and development funding outside the Greater South East.

The objective of the Life Sciences Innovative Manufacturing Fund (LSIMF) is to incentivise capital investments in manufacturing across the UK. Applicants will be encouraged to describe R&D aspects of their manufacturing proposal as part of the Fund’s economic assessment. 75% of life sciences manufacturing jobs are located outside of London and England’s South-East and we expect the LSIMF to create highly-skilled jobs across all regions of the UK.

2nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Government’s press release entitled £260 million to boost healthcare research and manufacturing, published on 2 March 2022, stating that the Life Sciences Innovative Manufacturing Fund will help ensure the UK continues to be an attractive investment destination, whether his Department is taking steps to ensure that fund leverages in at least twice as much private sector investment to be consistent with the ambition stated in the Levelling Up White Paper.

The fund seeks to leverage £300 million of gross private sector manufacturing investment by March 2025, more than four times the public investment of £60 million. Applicants will undergo an economic assessment to ensure that their proposal provides a sufficient level of private sector investment. Applications will also be assessed on their alignment with the fund’s objectives of boosting health resilience, deploying innovation and minimising environmental impact.

2nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if his Department will publish a regional breakdown of the successful applications to the Horizon programme.

As Horizon Europe only recently started, data on successful bids will be reviewed as the programme progresses. The regional distribution of funding under Horizon 2020 – the predecessor programme to Horizon Europe – is publicly available data. It can be seen in the table below. UK entities are already eligible to apply to Horizon Europe calls ahead of formal UK association to the programme.

UK Regions

% of UK receipts

London

25.3%

South East

17.0%

Scotland

11.4%

East of England

11.3%

South West

7.9%

Yorkshire and Humber

6.3%

North West

6.1%

West Midlands

5.4%

East Midlands

3.1%

North East

2.9%

Wales

2.0%

Northern Ireland

1.0%

2nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much funding (a) Russian- or (b) Belarussian-owned entities received in connection with the OneWeb satellite launch; and what proportion of that sum came from public funding used to purchase OneWeb out of bankruptcy in 2020.

OneWeb’s launch contract is with Arianespace, a French company. As a non-majority shareholder in OneWeb (17.6%), we cannot comment on arrangements between Arianespace and its suppliers.

28th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he plans to make the 105 power cut phone number the same status as 999 to enable free emergency calls to that number from any mobile phone network.

Giving the “105” number a similar status as the 999/112 Public Emergency Call Service number would require a change to primary legislation - most likely to the Communications Act (2003) - which would require thorough consultation with Industry, Ofcom, and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
28th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps are being taken to prevent a loss of scientific skills and expertise in the event that the UK fails to secure association to Horizon.

The UK stands ready to formalise our association to EU programmes, but disappointingly there have been persistent delays from the EU. We cannot wait forever for association to be finalised, and so we are preparing for all scenarios going forward. We will support the UK R&D sector through this uncertain period, either by association to Horizon or through the implementation of an alternative UK programme, if this proves necessary.

We are currently developing a bold and ambitious long-term UK offer that combines the benefits of Horizon association whilst also strengthening the UK’s global position and enhancing our unique selling points as a global science superpower.

It will build on the Integrated Review and R&D Roadmap and include a strong and attractive offer to encourage talented individuals to build their careers here, developing the skills and workforce the UK needs as well as investing in those areas of research and innovation which support tomorrow's economy, including technologies and missions as set out in the Innovation Strategy.

28th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much funding his Department has allocated to to research on alternative energy resources for (a) 2020-21 and (b) 2021-22.

The Department primarily funds research into energy generation through UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), which in 2020-2021 funded £205 million towards alternative energy resources.

The figures for 2021-22 will be available in the autumn.

28th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will (a) review all Belarusian and Russian beneficiaries of UK R&D spending and (b) assess how much R&D investment in the UK comes from Russia or Belarus.

As I noted on 27 February, BEIS is rapidly reviewing all Russian beneficiaries of UK science, research, technology and innovation funding. This is a fast moving policy area and the Government will provide an update in due course.

28th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the role of innovation accelerators is; and how these differ from existing catapults to support the commercial application of research.

Innovation Accelerators are a new pilot approach to supporting three UK city regions to become major, globally competitive centres for research and innovation. They will be locally led partnerships involving leaders in local government, business and R&D institutions, working with national Government and R&D funders.

The partnerships will develop plans to accelerate innovation-led growth in their city regions, building on local strengths and opportunities. They will receive dedicated support from the UK Government and will have access to a new £100m fund to support transformational R&D projects that grow R&D strengths, attract private investment, boost innovation diffusion, and maximise the combined economic impact of R&D institutions.

Catapults may be a part of Innovation Accelerators but are sector specific, designed to support innovation and de-risk the transition from research to commercial delivery for small, medium and large businesses. They achieve this through the provision of R&D infrastructure, specialist knowledge and expertise, partnership and collaboration building capabilities and business support.

28th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support researchers whose funding offers have been revoked due to delays in EU approval of UK participation in Horizon Europe.

The UK stands ready to formalise our association to EU programmes at the earliest opportunity, but disappointingly there have been persistent delays from the EU.

In order to provide reassurance, the Government has already committed to support the first wave of successful UK applicants to Horizon Europe who are unable to sign grant agreements with the EU due to these delays.

This guarantee, delivered by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), will enable awardees to receive the full value of their funding.

The Government will monitor the situation closely and is keeping all measures, including the guarantee, under constant review.

We encourage the UK sector to continue applying to Horizon Europe calls and to continue forming consortia.

Further information on how to apply and technical guidance is on the UKRI website.

28th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what proportion of the UK Atomic Energy Authority’s budget in 2021-2022 has been allocated to nuclear fusion.

In this financial year almost 95% of the UK Atomic Energy Authority’s £216m budget was for fusion projects and programmes. This includes fusion enabling technologies such as robotics, as well as the infrastructure and facilities.

The remainder was allocated to the Shareholder Programme Agreement, which pays for historical legal commitments relating to the UK Atomic Energy Authority’s predecessor bodies, or improving accessibility to apprenticeships.

24th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 14 February 2022 to Question 119560 on Science: Regional Planning and Development, what plans he has to extend the biannual meetings with science ministers from the UK and devolved Administrations to regional leaders in England.

The Levelling Up White Paper announced that there will be a structured process of visits, at ministerial level, across the whole of the UK in the months following publication of this White Paper, to discuss how levelling up can be successfully achieved in that area and to gather feedback. I look forward to meeting with regional leaders in England and across the UK as part of this process.

22nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much and what proportion of its research and development budget did his Department spend in each region of the UK in (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21.

In the Levelling Up White paper BEIS committed to work to collect data at a regional level for all of its R&D spend.

UKRI publish detailed breakdowns of their funding data at a regional level annually, the latest available data is on UKRI's website at https://www.ukri.org/our-work/what-we-have-funded/regional-distribution-of-funding/. In addition, the UKRI Gateway https://gtr.ukri.org/

provides data on publicly funded research and innovation which is searchable by year and region.

22nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 8 February 2022 to Question 116928, on Innovation and Research: Regional Planning and Development, whether the 40 per cent increase is baselined against spending levels in the financial year (a) 2021-22 or (b) 2020-21.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answers given on 7 February 2022 to Question 116928.

22nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 14 December 2021 to Question 89572 on Vaccine Manufacturing and Innovation Centre, what steps his Department is taking as a result of those discussions to ensure the UK’s resilience against future disease pandemics and variants.

The Vaccine Taskforce and UK Research and Innovation are engaged with the Vaccine Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC), which is a private company, as well as with other companies, to ensure the UK has a strong domestic vaccine manufacturing capability to contribute to the UK’s resilience against COVID-19 and other future health emergencies. Details of the sale process are commercially sensitive.

The Government has invested over £380 million to date in the UK’s onshore vaccine manufacturing capacity and capability. At the recent Autumn Budget, and as part of the ‘living with COVID-19’ plan, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a further £354 million for UK life sciences. This includes funding to strengthen UK vaccine manufacturing resilience for the COVID-19 response, including COVID-19 variants, and potential future health emergencies, among other projects.

22nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 13 January 2022 to Question 100543, how the Government's plans for dementia factor into (a) the Life Sciences Vision and (b) commitments the Government made on dementia moonshot plans in 2019.

In the Life Sciences Vision, the Government committed to a healthcare mission to improve translational capabilities in neurodegeneration and dementia. The Office for Life Sciences are working with the Medical Research Council, industry, charities, academia and the wider sector to scope this Mission.

The Government has committed to invest £375 million in neurodegenerative disease research over the next five years to fund projects into a range of diseases including dementia. We are working on ways to significantly boost further research on dementia to support the delivery of the moonshot and we will be setting out our plans on dementia for England for future years in 2022. This will include our ambitions for dementia research and boosting dementia research funding.

22nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to page 172 to the Levelling Up White Paper, whether the expectation that at least £7 in every £10 his Department invests will be invested outside the Greater South East will also be met by (a) UKRI, (b) InnovateUK, (c) ARIA, (d) Research England and (e) Research Councils.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answerI gave her on 8 February 2022 to Question 116927.

22nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the allocations of funding to the Strength in Places Fund of £82 million in 2020-21 and £69 million in 2021-22, whether his Department has plans to reduce that allocation further in 2022-23.

We are investing £200 million over the next three years in 12 Strength in Places projects to develop R&D capacity and support local growth across the UK. The Department is currently working to set detailed R&D budgets through to 2024/25. Further details about how the funding is allocated across the Spending Review period will be announced in due course.

22nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to box 3.6 on page 172 of the Levelling Up in the United Kingdom White Paper which states that the Advanced Propulsion Centre, which will invest almost £16 million in a consortium developing electric propulsion systems for heavy goods vehicles in Cwmbran, Wales and Edinburgh, Scotland through the EPIC project, over what period of time that funding will be made available.

The Advanced Propulsion Centre will invest almost £16 Million in a consortium developing electric propulsion systems for heavy goods vehicles in Cwmbran, Wales and Edinburgh, Scotland through the EPIC project. The EPIC project is listed as one of the three projects totalling £54 Million joint investment from APC and industry. Further details of the projects can be found at the following link:

£54 Million Investment as UK Automotive Industry Accelerates Towards Net-Zero Emissions - Advanced Propulsion Centre (apcuk.co.uk).

The EPIC Project is scheduled to last 42 months with the grant being paid over that period to the consortium members in arrears on the basis of work carried out.

22nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to page 172 of the Levelling Up White Paper and the funding to be invested by the Advanced Propulsion Centre in a consortium developing electric propulsion systems for heavy goods vehicles in Cwmbran, Wales and Edinburgh, Scotland through the EPIC project, whether the £16 million is coming from the Advanced Propulsion Centre or the EPIC project; and whether that £16 million is in addition to the £31.9 million allocated to developing lightweight electric power trains for heavy goods vehicles as announced by the Advanced Propulsion Centre in its post entitled £54 Million investment as UK automotive industry accelerates towards net-zero emissions.

The Advanced Propulsion Centre will invest almost £16 Million in a consortium developing electric propulsion systems for heavy goods vehicles in Cwmbran, Wales and Edinburgh, Scotland through the EPIC project. The EPIC project is listed as one of the three projects totalling £54 Million joint investment from APC and industry. Further details of the projects can be found at the following link:

£54 Million Investment as UK Automotive Industry Accelerates Towards Net-Zero Emissions - Advanced Propulsion Centre (apcuk.co.uk).

The EPIC Project is scheduled to last 42 months with the grant being paid over that period to the consortium members in arrears on the basis of work carried out.

22nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to page 172 of the Levelling Up in the United Kingdom White Paper which states that there will be a 36 per cent real terms increase for Innovate UK annual core funding between 2021-22 and 2024-25, how much of that funding money will be spent outside the Greater South East.

The Levelling Up White Paper set out the Government’s mission to increase domestic public investment in R&D outside the Greater South East by at least one third over the Spending Review period and at least 40 percent by 2030.

In support of this, BEIS will make levelling up one of the objectives of its R&D investment strategy and will aim for the regions outside the Greater South East to receive at least 55% of its R&D budget by 2024/25.

The Department is currently working to set detailed R&D budgets through to 2024/25. Further details about how the funding is allocated across the Spending Review period will be announced in due course.

21st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to support the development of geothermal energy as part of sustainable energy solutions for heating buildings and homes.

The recently published Heat and Buildings Strategy acknowledges the potential of geothermal energy and sets out the Government’s commitment to continue to monitor developments in geothermal heat in the UK and assess whether the technology provides a cost-effective option for the future.

Officials are therefore currently reaching out to industry involved in the deep geothermal sector to improve the Government’s understanding of the barriers for investment and the potential of a geothermal heat pipeline. The Government will use this information to identify the next steps that can be taken both by government and industry to realise the potential of the sector for decarbonising heat.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent estimate he has had made of the number of prepay meter users who may not be able to afford to top up their meters (a) as of 21 February 2022 and (b) as energy prices rise; what support is available for those people; and whether those people are counted as disconnected customers.

The Regulator Ofgem monitors households' experiences with the energy market, including those with prepayment meters, through their Consumer Engagement Surveys. The most recent survey, published in April 2021, suggested that 21% of prepayment meter households had temporarily been disconnected from their supply because their meter had run out of credit. This report is available online at: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/sites/default/files/docs/2021/04/consumer_survey_2020_update_on_engagement.pdf.

The Price Cap continues to ensure that 22 million households, including the 4 million who use a pre-payment meter, pay a fair price for their energy.

In addition, Ofgem’s new licence conditions rules protect Prepayment Meter customers at risk of self-disconnection and include requirements on suppliers to offer emergency and friendly-hours credit to all these customers and to offer additional support credit to customers in vulnerable circumstances.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to support the development of geothermal based district heating solutions.

The recently published Heat and Buildings Strategy acknowledges the potential of geothermal energy and sets out the Government’s commitment to continue to monitor developments in geothermal heat in the UK and assess whether the technology provides a cost-effective option for the future.

Officials are therefore currently reaching out to industry involved in the deep geothermal sector to improve the Government’s understanding of the barriers for investment and the potential of a geothermal heat pipeline. The Government will use this information to identify the next steps that can be taken both by government and industry to realise the potential of the sector for decarbonising heat.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to page 172 of the Levelling Up White Paper, what the timescale is for the publication of subnational data on R&D spending; and where that data will be published.

The UK Government will ask the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the UK Government Office for Science to work with all Whitehall departments to collect and publish sub-national data on R&D spending. The timescales for this programme of work will be agreed collectively with all the parties in due course. We work with the ONS and the UK Government Office for Science to determine the most appropriate means of publishing the data.

7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to page 173 of the Levelling Up the United Kingdom White Paper, what plans his Department has to extend the biannual meetings between the Science Minister and his respective ministers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to regional leaders in England.

The Levelling Up White Paper announced that the Science Minister would convene a biannual meeting with respective Ministers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This biannual meeting will further support close working relationships between the UK, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and ensure mutually beneficial outcomes.

7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to page 174 of the Levelling Up the United Kingdom White Paper, whether his Department and other relevant Government Department will take the leading role in managing the Innovation Accelerators rather than relevant local bodies.

Innovation Accelerators will be locally led partnerships involving leaders in local government, business and universities, working with national Government and R&D funders. They’re designed to pilot a new approach to supporting three places in the UK to become major, globally competitive centres for research and innovation.

Each partnership will develop plans to boost innovation and attract new R&D investment in their city regions, building on existing work that each of these three city regions have already done to identify local strengths and opportunities, including through Science and Innovation Audits and local innovation plans.

They will receive bespoke support from the UK Government, led by BEIS in partnership with other departments.

7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to page 174 of the Levelling Up the United Kingdom White Paper, which notes that the Innovation Accelerators may have to work with partners outside of their immediate geography, whether his Department plans to put in place limits to the funding shared with partners in the Greater South East.

The IAs will be centred on the three city regions, but partnerships will have flexibility to expand the reach of their activity to surrounding areas if desired. The £100m of R&D funding for the Accelerators will be awarded through a process run by UKRI and will support high quality R&D projects to grow local innovation ecosystems in the three pilot areas.

7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the announcement, Boost for space clusters across the UK, whether the funding for the Open University to support and coordinate regional space sector growth ambitions in the Oxford-Cambridge Arc is part of the Levelling Up agenda.

This Government is fully committed to levelling up across the whole of the UK. The funding for the Oxford to Cambridge arc is one of ten grants we have provided across all parts of the UK to support space sector growth and connect the space sector ecosystem. The activity delivered by the Open University will reach into the South midlands and across to East Anglia and will ensure expertise in the region is accessible to the whole of the UK and vice versa.

7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will provide a regional breakdown of (a) his Department's R&D spending overall and (b) UKRI’s spending in the financial year (i) 2019-20, (ii) 2020-21 and (iii) 2021-22.

In the Levelling Up White paper BEIS committed to work to collect this data at a regional level for all of its R&D spend.

UKRI publish detailed breakdowns of their funding data at a regional level annually, the latest available data is on UKRI's Regional distribution of funding – UKRI. In addition, the UKRI Gateway https://gtr.ukri.org/ provides data on publicly funded research and innovation which is searchable by year and region.

7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he will take to prevent universities and other institutions in the greater south east from setting up campuses in other regions for the purposes of claiming levelling up funding.

Our record increase in R&D investment to £20bn by 2024/25 means universities and businesses in the Greater South East will continue to benefit from public R&D investment. Public R&D funding will continue to be awarded competitively and open to universities, businesses and organisations across the whole UK.

The Paul Nurse review will look across the landscape of UK organisations undertaking all forms of research, development and innovation. This review will highlight the strengths to be nurtured and any comparative weaknesses to be tackled, and make recommendations for addressing them. Sir Paul Nurse will report on his review in early summer 2022.

7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to box 3.6 on page 172 of the Levelling Up White Paper, what the £20 million of UK Government and local government funding will be for.

The UK Space Agency has awarded a grant of £7.35m to Virgin Orbit to enable horizonal launch from Spaceport Cornwall. This is supported by Cornwall Council funding to support the establishment of Spaceport Cornwall, which should be operational in the next few months.

7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 3 February 2022 to Question 114739 on Life Sciences, whether details of the funding will be broken by (a) disease, (b) geographic region and (c) research body; and when he plans to announce how funding for those Research and Development budgets will be allocated.

Further details of how this funding will be allocated will be announced in due course.

7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to Box 3.6 on page 172 of the Levelling Up the United Kingdom White Paper, how much of the £210 million for the Hartree National Centre for Digital Innovation was contributed by (a) the Government and (b) IBM.

In 2021, the Government, via UK Research and Innovation, agreed to invest £172 million over five years for the new Hartree National Centre for Digital Innovation (HNCDI). This is met with a £38 million in-kind contribution from IBM.

2nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the announcement of the Innovation Clusters Pilot on page 173 of the Levelling Up White Paper, what metrics will be used to assess the success of the Innovation Clusters pilot; and what lessons he has learnt from the experience of Innovation Clusters in other parts of the UK.

We engaged widely in developing proposals to pilot Innovation Accelerators in three UK city-regions. This included learning from the R&D Place Advisory Group established in 2020, which included UK and international experts.

We expect to co-develop the pilot Innovation Accelerators in partnership with the three UK city-regions selected, and confirm the metrics used to assess their success as part of finalising the business plans for the pilots. Where appropriate, these will align with the mission on R&D published in the Levelling Up White Paper and the objectives of the Innovation Strategy

We will give decision-makers at all levels the information they need to grow thriving local innovation economies. Our new open data tool, co-developed by BEIS and NESTA, provides high quality and accessible evidence on sub-regional R&D systems in the UK.

2nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to page 170 of the Levelling Up White Paper, whether his Department plans to increase research and development spending by 40 per cent in each region outside the Greater South East.

The Levelling Up White Paper sets out a cross-Government commitment that domestic public investment in R&D outside the Greater South East will increase by at least 40% by 2030, and over the Spending Review period by at least one third.

We have not set specific targets for each region - the 40% increase refers to regions outside the Greater South East in aggregate. This ensures we are not constraining the ambitions of any one region.

This mission, which refers to R&D expenditure across all Government Departments, will complement more targeted interventions in places with high R&D potential, including the £100m investment Innovation Accelerators supporting three UK city regions to become major, globally competitive centres for research and innovation.

2nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to page 170 of the Levelling Up White Paper, whether he plans for public research and development investment in every region outside the Greater South East to increase by 40 per cent.

By 2030, domestic public investment in R&D outside the Greater South East will increase by at least 40%, and over the Spending Review period by at least one third.

We have not set specific targets for each region - the 40% increase refers to regions outside the Greater South East in aggregate. This ensures we are not constraining the ambitions of any one region.

This mission will complement more targeted interventions in places with high R&D potential, including the £100m investment Innovation Accelerators supporting three UK city regions to become major, globally competitive centres for research and innovation.

2nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to box 3.6 on page 172 of the Levelling Up White Paper, whether the expectation for his Department to spend at least £7 in every £10 outside the Greater South East will be met by (a) UKRI, (b) Research England, (c) the Research Councils, (d) Innovate UK, (e) ARIA and (f) other individual bodies.

BEIS will aim for the regions and nations outside the Greater South East to receive at least 55% of its research and development (R&D) funding by 2024/25.

To support this BEIS will make levelling up one of the objectives of its R&D investment strategy to ensure its £39.8bn settlement between 2022/23–2024/25 boosts R&D and economic growth across the whole of the UK.

In some areas like Net Zero, BEIS expects at least £7 in every £10 it invests will be invested outside the Greater South East over the spending review period.

2nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to page 173 of the Levelling Up White Paper, what assessment he has made of the outcomes that will result from UKRI’s new objective to support Levelling Up; and how he plans to measure success of that objective.

UKRI’s new objective will help to deepen its commitment to delivering social and economic impact for citizens across the whole UK. UKRI will set out how it intends to deliver on this objective in its strategy later in 2022.

One element of that response will be a suite of resources that teams across UKRI can use to incorporate levelling up into the design and delivery of their programmes, helping UKRI to work towards a more diverse and connected system across academia, businesses and the public sector.

2nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to page 170 of the Levelling Up White Paper, what the baseline is for increasing public R&D investment by 40 per cent; and whether that baseline includes money from European structural funds.

The Spending Review committed to an increase in public R&D spending to £20bn by 2024-25, contributing to the economy-wide target to invest 2.4% of GDP in R&D by 2027.

The Levelling Up White Paper set the mission for domestic public investment in R&D outside the Greater South East to increase by at least one third over the Spending Review period and at least 40 percent by 2030, with that additional government funding seeking to leverage at least twice as much private sector investment over the long term to stimulate innovation and productivity growth. This is baselined against spending levels in 2021-22 and doesn’t include EU Programmes Association funding.

The UK Government has asked the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the UK Government Office for Science to work with all Whitehall departments to collect and publish sub-national data on their R&D spending. This will allow us to track progress on the mission to 2030.

2nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the implications for its policies of Nesta’s report entitled The Missing 4 Billion, published 27 May 2020.

Government considered a range of evidence and analysis in developing the R&D measures in the Levelling Up White Paper, including Nesta’s ‘The Mission £4bn’ report.

The Levelling White Paper sets out a series of measures to ensure that R&D supports levelling up across the country. Public investment in R&D outside the Greater South East will increase by at least one third over the Spending Review period and at least 40 percent by 2030. This additional government funding will seek to leverage at least twice as much private sector investment over the long term to stimulate innovation and productivity growth.

Supporting delivery of this goal, BEIS will make levelling up one of the objectives of its R&D investment strategy and will aim for the regions outside the Greater South East to receive at least 55% of its R&D budget by 2024/25.

Alongside increasing investment in innovation across the country, BEIS will invest £100m between 2022-3 and 2024-5 to pilot three new Innovation Accelerators centred on Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and Glasgow City-Region. Innovation Accelerators will develop UK innovation clusters, boosting economic growth by investing in high-quality projects to grow R&D strengths, attract private investment, boost innovation diffusion, and maximise the combined economic impact of R&D institutions.

31st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with which (a) local authorities and (b) devolved administrations his Department has discussed Innovation Deals.

The Levelling Up White Paper sets out how we will maximise the contribution of innovation to levelling up by building on existing and emerging strengths across the country.

We are committed to taking a place-based approach – tailoring support to the research, development and innovation strengths of different places and developing policies in partnership with local government, businesses and R&D institutions.

New Innovation Accelerator pilots will support three places in the UK to become major, globally competitive centres for research and innovation. In addition to receiving bespoke support from the UK Government, a total of £100m R&D funding will be available to these places for projects between 2022/23 and 2024/25. Should these pilots prove successful, we will consider how to build on this approach in future.

The policies in the Levelling Up White Paper have been informed by views from across the UK - including our R&D Place Advisory Group, which includes Local Enterprise Partnership, and the Devolved Administrations - to understand how we can build on our excellence in research and innovation so that more people and places benefit.

31st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the oral contribution of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy of 11 January 2022, Official Report, column 415, what progress he has made on allocating the dementia research and development budget.

The Department for Health & Social Care will invest £375 million in neurodegenerative disease research over the next five years to fund projects into a range of diseases including dementia.

Following the Spending Review, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy is currently working to set detailed R&D budgets through to 2024/25. Further details of how this funding will be allocated will be announced in due course.

28th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much private R&D investment is estimated to be crowded in for each pound of public R&D spend; how that estimate is calculated; and whether that is dependent on (a) geography and (b) sector.

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(opens in a new tab) 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.

28th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 27 January to Question 110349, what proportion of private sector leverage is considered highly successful; and what proportion of Innovate UK programmes achieve that.

The level of private investment generated varies by sector (including maturity), stage of research and type of R&D funding programme. It can therefore vary considerably across programmes.

For Innovate UK programmes, , Innovate UK has invested £4 billion of grant funding and generated £2.3 billion of direct matched funding from businesses, since 01/01/2012. On top of this, evaluations show net additional follow-on private investment of between £1-£5 within 1-4 years of receiving a grant.

Across Innovate UK’s core programmes, validated programme evaluations demonstrate a return to the economy of approximately of up to £7 for every £1, as well as spill-over impacts estimated to be 2 to 3 times larger.

27th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he plans to take to increase the proportion of public and private UK research and development spend outside the Golden Triangle of Oxford, Cambridge and London.

Making the most of R&D in places around the UK is a key government priority. The 2021 Spending Review sees record levels of investment in the UK’s world-leading research base with public spending on Research & Development (R&D) increasing by £5 billion per annum to £20 billion in 2024-25. The substantial uplift to research and science funding will not only allow the UK to build on our core strengths but will also provide opportunities to grow research and innovation investment across the entire country. Further details of how this funding will be allocated will be announced in due course.

The Levelling Up White Paper sets out how we will maximise the contribution of innovation to levelling up. This includes a new mission that, by 2030, domestic public investment in R&D outside the Greater South East will increase by at least one third over the Spending Review period and at least 40 percent by 2030, with that additional government funding seeking to leverage at least twice as much private sector investment over the long term to stimulate innovation and productivity growth.

In support of this, BEIS has committed to invest at least 55% of its domestic R&D funding outside the Greater South East by 2024/25.

27th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with local authorities and regional mayors on the devolution of innovation funding or other forms of innovation deals.

The Levelling Up White Paper sets out how we will maximise the contribution of innovation to levelling up by building on existing and emerging strengths across the country.

We are committed to taking a place-based approach – tailoring support to the research, development and innovation strengths of different places and developing policies in partnership with local government, businesses and R&D institutions.

New Innovation Accelerator pilots will support three places in the UK with world class research strengths to grow their local innovation clusters by attracting industrial R&D, creating new career opportunities and creating a more vibrant innovation ecosystem in the wider region. In addition to receiving bespoke support from the UK Government, a total of £100m R&D funding will be available to these places for projects between 2022/23 and 2024/25. Should these pilots prove successful, we will consider how to build on this approach in future.

The policies in the Levelling Up White Paper have been informed by views from across the UK - including our R&D Place Advisory Group, which includes Local Enterprise Partnership, and Mayoral Combined Authority bodies - to understand how we can build on our excellence in research and innovation so that more people and places benefit.

27th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of (a) the proportion of private sector investment which is outside of the Golden Triangle of Oxford, Cambridge and London and (b) how that has increased or decreased over the last decade.

Business expenditure on R&D (BERD) demonstrates the amount of R&D performed by UK businesses, and is the nearest for private sector investment. In 2020, the regions of Greater London, the East of England, and South East of England accounted for 55% of total UK BERD. Since 2010, BERD outside these regions has ranged from 45% - 49%, peaking at 49% in 2016.

The Levelling Up White Paper sets out how we will maximise the contribution of innovation to levelling up. This includes a new goal that domestic public investment in R&D outside the Greater South East will increase by at least one third over the Spending Review period and at least 40 percent by 2030, with that additional government funding seeking to leverage at least twice as much private sector investment over the long term to stimulate innovation and productivity growth.

BEIS has published a R&D spatial data tool (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/access-research-and-development-spatial-data) which allows users to access, visualise and compare indicators that show the scale of R&D systems at a subregional level over time. This includes metrics that proxy for private R&D and innovation and can be reviewed for all UK regions.

24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to help encourage more private, self-funded research and development.

We are implementing the Innovation Strategy, which sets out the Government’s vision to make the UK a global hub for innovation by 2035. It aims to boost private sector investment across the whole of the UK, which is critical to achieve our target of 2.4% of GDP being invested in R&D by 2027.

Through the Strategy, we have committed to take action in areas such as regulation and public procurement, creating the conditions for all businesses to innovate. However, this is just the starting point, and over the coming and months and years we will continue to build an enabling environment for private sector investment in R&D.

Following the Spending Review, we are also ensuring that government funding attracts private – including from overseas – investment. For example, we have increased funding for core Innovate UK programmes, reaching c.£1bn per year by 2024/25, which are highly successful in securing private sector leverage.

24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to page 34 of the Life Sciences Vision published on 6 July 2021, (a) what recent progress he has made on establishing the Life Science Scale Up Taskforce; how that Taskforce is funded; from which budget that Taskforce receives its funding; what criteria his Department will use to award funding to life sciences start ups; and whether he has made an assessment of that Taskforce's contribution to levelling up.

In September 2021, the Government convened a Life Sciences Scale-up Taskforce (the Taskforce), who were asked to consider how we can drive progress on the ease with which Life Science companies across the UK can start, grow, and scale up. This Taskforce was industry-led and not funded by Government.

In December 2021, the Taskforce provided its response to my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. This included recommendations on issues that inhibit scale-up and growth, identified throughout the Life Sciences Vision (the Vision). These recommendations will now be considered by the Government as it takes forward implementation of the Vision.

24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department has plans to replace the SME Instrument in the EU Horizon programme in the event that the UK and EU fail to ratify the UK’s association to Horizon; how many companies in the UK received SME Instrument funding in the period 2014-20; and how much funding those companies received.

The UK stands ready to formalise our association to Horizon Europe at the earliest opportunity. This remains our priority, but disappointingly there have been persistent delays from the EU.

The SME instrument has been replaced under Horizon Europe with the EIC Accelerator. UK companies are already eligible to apply for Accelerator calls ahead of formal association as set out in the EIC Accelerator Guide for Applicants. Under Horizon 2020, UK organisations won a total of nearly €190m from the SME Instrument, with 453 UK organisations participating in the SME instrument and a total of 492 UK participations in the SME instrument.

We have always been clear that our priority is to support the UK’s research and development sector and we will continue to do this in all future scenarios.

As announced at the Spending Review, in the event that the UK is unable to associate to Horizon Europe, the funding allocated will go to UK science, research and innovation programmes instead. I set out my priorities in such a scenario in an open letter in November, including my ambition for stronger SME engagement.

24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to page 11 of the Life Sciences Vision published on 6 July 2021, what plans his Department has to improve access to private finance for UK Life Sciences companies; and whether his Department plans to introduce research and development grants for small companies that do not require match funding.

The Government is committed to developing a globally competitive Life Sciences investment ecosystem where private and public Life Sciences companies can access long-term capital within the UK from investors committed to building successful companies here in the UK.

To support this, in July 2021, Government launched the £200m Life Sciences Investment Programme. This will leverage around £400m of private sector investment, making around £600m financing available for the sector over the course of the next 10 years. In addition, the Government established an industry-led Life Sciences Scale-up Taskforce, which aims to drive progress on the ease with which Life Science companies can start, grow, and scale up in the UK.

13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 5 January 2022 to Question 94366 on Dementia: Research, how much the Government spent on dementia research in the financial year 2020-2021.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer I gave her on 14 January 2022 to Question 101715.

11th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to his oral Answer of 11 January 2022, Official Report, column 413, that the life science sector has grown, in terms of private investment, by 1,000 per cent in the last ten years and is creating jobs all around the UK, in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, what the evidential basis is for that answer.

Analysis conducted by the Office for Life Sciences using data from S&P Capital IQ showed that in the first 10 months of 2021, UK Life Sciences companies raised a total of £6.6bn in equity finance. This is an increase of 1,000% since 2012 when the equivalent figure was £0.6bn. These figures include public and private investment and cover the sectors of Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals, Life Sciences Tools and Services, Health Care Equipment and Supplies and Health Care Technology. They were set out in the press release accompanying the recent Biopharmaceutical CEO Roundtable, held on 2 December 2021.

The 2020 Biosciences and Health Sector Statistics publication shows that net employment in the UK life sciences industry increased by 31,500 between 2011 and 2020, and that during that period, net employment increased in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Annex: Supporting Data

Region

Net change in employment between 2011 and 2020

London

8,200

East of England

4,900

South East

4,500

Yorkshire and the Humber

4,000

North West

2,500

Northern Ireland

2,200

Wales

1,700

North East

1,700

South West

1,500

East Midlands

800

Scotland

400

West Midlands

-800

Total

31,500

Source: Office for Life Sciences: Bioscience and Health Technology Statistics 2020

11th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 5 January 2022 to Question 94366 on Dementia: Research, if he will publish all available figures for dementia spending in 2020-21.

Figures for the National Institute for Health Research (NHIR) and the Medical Research Council (MRC) will be available in the coming months.

Government spend on dementia research 2020-21

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

£8,025,232.10

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBBSRC)

£1,500,000

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

£11,477,620

Please note that BBSRC provided an estimated figure for dementia research based on their broad portfolio of underpinning relevance (£29m in 2020/21).

10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate his Department has made of the proportion of plastics consumed in the UK which are manufactured in the UK.

We estimate that between 30% to 55% of plastics consumed in the UK are produced in the UK. This range depends on whether plastic imports to the UK are consumed domestically or are re-exported, however the Department does not hold this exact data.

10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to increase the proportion of plastics consumed in the UK which are (a) manufactured in the UK and (b) recyclable in the UK.

The billions we are investing in R&D, skills and support for digital technology adoption through initiatives like Made Smarter and Help to Grow is providing a competitive business environment for British manufacturers. It is attracting new investment, developing new export opportunities, and securing new high-value jobs in our industrial heartlands.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) funds a variety of projects related to plastics including projects improving sustainability and recyclability of plastics in the UK. For example, the Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Challenge, with £60m of funding from UKRI through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and matched by £149m from industry, is supporting academic-led research to address known problems and to support industry-led collaborative research and development of new technologies, de-risking innovative plastics sustainability projects, and delivering over 230kt per annum of additional recycling capacity. The output of this capacity is intended to be used back in packaging and will make a real contribution to the gap of recycled plastics in the UK.

The introduction of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for Packaging will see businesses that place packaging on the market bear responsibility for the costs of managing that packaging once it becomes waste. It will incentivise businesses to design and use packaging that is easier to recycle, and to increase the recycling of packaging waste.

Finally, The UK Plastic Packaging Tax will be introduced from 1 April 2022 to encourage the use of recycled plastic in packaging, and in turn stimulate increased levels of recycling and collection of plastic waste, diverting it away from landfill or incineration. It is estimated that this will lead to an increase in the use of recycled plastic by 40% in 2022-23.

10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to support research into new zero carbon methods of producing plastics in the UK.

The billions we are investing in R&D, skills and support for digital technology adoption through initiatives like Made Smarter and Help to Grow is providing a competitive business environment for British manufacturers. It is attracting new investment, developing new export opportunities, and securing new high-value jobs in our industrial heartlands.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) funds a variety of projects related to plastics including projects improving sustainability and recyclability of plastics in the UK. For example, the Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Challenge, with £60m of funding from UKRI through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and matched by £149m from industry, is supporting academic-led research to address known problems and to support industry-led collaborative research and development of new technologies, de-risking innovative plastics sustainability projects, and delivering over 230kt per annum of additional recycling capacity. The output of this capacity is intended to be used back in packaging and will make a real contribution to the gap of recycled plastics in the UK.

The introduction of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for Packaging will see businesses that place packaging on the market bear responsibility for the costs of managing that packaging once it becomes waste. It will incentivise businesses to design and use packaging that is easier to recycle, and to increase the recycling of packaging waste.

Finally, The UK Plastic Packaging Tax will be introduced from 1 April 2022 to encourage the use of recycled plastic in packaging, and in turn stimulate increased levels of recycling and collection of plastic waste, diverting it away from landfill or incineration. It is estimated that this will lead to an increase in the use of recycled plastic by 40% in 2022-23.

6th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish the aims of the R&D Inter-Ministerial Group.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is in the early phases of developing the Inter-Ministerial Group, to support ongoing discussions on research and development. Further details about the group will be formalised and made available in due course.

5th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which other Government departments will participate in the R&D Inter-Ministerial Group; and what the aims are of that Group.

In order to support the Government’s ambitions to cement the UK’s status as a global science superpower and an innovation nation, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is in the early phases of developing an Inter-Ministerial Group, to support ongoing cross-Government discussions on research and development. Further details about the group will be formalised in due course.

5th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what proportion of research and development spending in his Department was channelled through UKRI or the research councils formerly organised under Research Councils UK in (a) 2010 and (b) 2021.

Science and research allocations for 2010/2011 were published in The Allocation of Science and Research Funding 2011/12 to 2014/15. Allocations for 2021 were published in May 2021 in BEIS research and development budget allocations 2021 to 2022.

5th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 5 January 2022 to Question 94362, how much has the Government invested in the Vaccine Manufacture and Innovation Centre since its inception (a) directly and (b) through its agencies; and what other forms of control does the Government exercise of that Centre.

The Vaccine Manufacturing Innovation Centre (VMIC) UK is a private company, limited by guarantee, and as such the UK Government does not exercise any ownership rights.

VMIC has been granted £206m of Government funding to date to support the delivery of the facility, including grants since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to increase vaccine manufacturing capacity. Reflecting the public funding VMIC has received, UK Research and Innovation (who have been managing the grant on behalf of the Vaccine Taskforce) will be required to ‘consent’ to any sale of the company or its assets and have confirmed that they will work closely with the Vaccine Taskforce in performing this function.

5th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department held discussions with scientific bodies prior to the decision to sell the Vaccine Manufacturing and Innovation Centre.

The Vaccine Manufacturing Innovation Centre (VMIC) UK is a private company, limited by guarantee, and as such the UK Government does not exercise any ownership rights.

VMIC has been granted £206m of Government funding to date to support the delivery of the facility, including grants since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to increase vaccine manufacturing capacity. Reflecting the public funding VMIC has received, UK Research and Innovation (who have been managing the grant on behalf of the Vaccine Taskforce) will be required to ‘consent’ to any sale of the company or its assets and have confirmed that they will work closely with the Vaccine Taskforce in performing this function.

4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 23 November 2021 to Question 77452 on Future Fund, what steps his Department is taking to tackle disparities in equity finance across the regions.

The Government reaffirmed its commitment to supporting equity finance across the UK at the 2021 Spending Review. We announced over £1.6 billion of new funding for the British Business Bank’s (BBB) regional investment funds, which provide debt and equity finance for SMEs to help them with their next stage of growth.

This funding will allow the BBB to set up new funds in Scotland and Wales and build on its existing activity in Northern Ireland. It will also see existing regional funds expand to allow businesses in the North East and South West of England to benefit from debt and equity finance provision.

We have also committed an additional £150 million to the Regional Angels Programme, which helps entrepreneurs across the UK access early-stage equity finance. Of the initial £100m commitment through this programme, 80 per cent went to businesses outside London and the South East of England.

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 4 November 2021 to Question 64605 on Global Britain Investment Fund, what proportion of the Global Britain Investment Fund will be spent on life sciences; over what time period that money will be spent; and if he will publish the funding sources for the Global Britain Investment Fund.

The Global Britain Investment Fund will provide £354m to UK Life Sciences. The funding will be spent over a three-year period from April 2022. HM Treasury aggregates funds from various funding streams to finance the investments announced at Spending Review 2021, including the Global Britain Investment Fund. The individual funding sources for the Global Britain Investment Fund are therefore not known.

4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment his Department has made of differences in Research England funding between the (a) North East and (b) east of England.

Research England Quality-related Research funding is allocated largely on the basis of the volume of highest quality research as assessed by REF2014. Through the “Expanding Excellence in England” programme, Research England is seeking to grow excellent research capacity where excellence exists but is currently at a small scale with potential for growth.

UKRI are publishing detailed breakdowns of their funding data at a regional level annually to increase transparency of how places benefit from R&D funding. The latest available data is at: https://www.ukri.org/our-work/what-we-have-funded/regional-distribution-of-funding/2018-to-2019-regional-distribution-of-funding/#contents-list.

4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the budget for the Office of Artificial Intelligence in the financial year 2022-23 is; which budget that money comes from; and what steps his Department has taken to fund the long-term needs of the artificial intelligence ecosystem.

The Office for Artificial Intelligence is a joint unit between BEIS and DCMS, reporting to directors in both BEIS and DCMS and accountable to Secretaries of State in both departments.

The recently published AI Strategy confirmed the Government’s commitment to continue to support the development and deployment of these technologies. The Strategy included commitments to launch a National AI Research and Innovation Programme to improve coordination and collaboration between the country’s researchers and a programme aimed at continuing to develop AI in sectors based outside of London and the South East.

The budget for the Office for Artificial Intelligence and the scale of funding provided to these programmes will be set through departmental business planning processes, which are ongoing.

The Autumn 2021 Spending Review announced record-breaking investment in the UK’s world leading research base, increasing by £5.2 billion to £20 billion per annum by 2024/25 in line with the target of UK economy-wide R&D investment reaching 2.4% of GDP by 2027.

4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 5 November 2021 to Question 64608 on Global Britain Investment Fund, what estimate he has made of the financial benefit to automotive clusters in the West Midlands, North East and North West from Global Britain Investment Fund funding.

The £1.4 billion Global Britain Investment Fund (GBIF) will drive investment in industries of national strength, including automotive, which has key regional clusters in the West Midlands, North West and North East.

4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021, paragraph 2.38, how much money the Government has allocated to support its response to the Nurse review of research councils; and which budget that money will come from.

The Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021 represents a record investment in UK R&D – providing £20 billion per annum by 2024-25. This will support a wide range of initiatives to cement the UK as a global science and technology superpower. Following the Spending Review, BEIS is currently working to set detailed R&D budgets to 2024/25. Further details of how this funding will be allocated will be announced in due course.

16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what shares in the Vaccine Manufacture and Innovation Centre currently belong to (a) the Government, (b) Imperial College London, (c) Oxford University, (d) the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and (e) private companies; and if he will publish the names of those private companies.

The Vaccine Manufacture and Innovation Centre (VMIC) is a private company, limited by guarantee without share capital, and as such the UK Government does not exercise any ownership rights. Questions regarding VMIC’S ownership shares should be directed to VMIC.

16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he had with EU counterparts on securing the UK’s participation in the Horizon Europe programme.

The UK stands ready to formalise our participation in Horizon Europe and other Union programmes, but disappointingly there have been persistent delays from the EU. Our participation in these programmes should be a “win-win” for everyone and further delays will benefit neither the UK nor EU.

Most recently, this issue was discussed at a meeting of the joint Specialised Committee on Participation in Union Programmes on Tuesday 21st December 2021.

It was important that this Specialised Committee meet to discuss the major outstanding issue of UK association and the treatment of UK participants in the meantime. We were pleased to meet but are disappointed that delays persist, and the Commission has still not provided clarity on when this will be resolved. We will continue to press on this.

We have always been clear that our priority is to support the UK’s research and development sector and we will continue to do this in all future scenarios.

16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much the Government has invested in dementia research (a) since 2018, (b) in the financial year ended 5th April 2021, and (c) in the current financial year.

Government spending on dementia

£m

2018-19

2019-2020

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

£31.6

£29

Medical Research Council (MRC)

£45.2.

£42.1

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

£6.1

£4.6

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBBSRC) on neuroscience

£30

£29

Total

£112.9

£104.7

Figures for the current financial year 2021/22 not yet available.

16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will bring forward proposals to waive Intellectual Property rights for covid-19 vaccines.

The Government remains open to all initiatives that will have a demonstrable positive impact on vaccine production and distribution. We do not intend to waive intellectual property rights as we believe this would have precisely the opposite effect.

Our robust international intellectual property framework protects the ability of the world’s leading scientists to come up with new ideas and innovations. This has been critical in underpinning innovators’ confidence to form over 300 vaccine manufacturing partnerships. It will allow us to continue to develop vaccines and treatments at unprecedented pace and meet our ultimate goal of saving lives, throughout the pandemic. There is no evidence that waiving intellectual property rights would help us to meet this goal. Waiving intellectual property rights would dismantle the very framework that helped to produce COVID-19 vaccines at the pace and scale now seen.

While we must continue to ensure vaccine production needs are met globally, the WHO news release of 7 October made it clear that: “With global vaccine production now at nearly 1.5 billion doses per month, there is sufficient vaccine from a supply perspective to achieve global vaccination targets”. We must therefore also focus on issues of distribution and delivery, in order to successfully vaccinate the globe and ensure we are all safe.

16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions his Department has had with relevant stakeholders on the replacement funding for the R&D funding from the European Regional Development Fund.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) is a domestic successor to the EU Structural Fund programme, worth over £2.6 billion. The 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.

The Government values the insights of stakeholders from different sectors and areas across the UK, which supports the development and delivery of the fund. Since the publication of the UKSPF Heads of Terms at Spending Review 2020, Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) officials have engaged widely on the UKSPF and DLUHC will continue to engage stakeholders as the fund is developed.

Furthermore, the Government’s Innovation Strategy, published in July, outlines our emerging thinking on how to ensure that research and innovation benefits the economy and society across the UK as part of Government’s objectives to level up the UK economy. The 2021 Spending Review sees record levels of investment in the UK’s world-leading research base. Government investment in research and development (R&D) will increase by £5 billion to £20 billion p.a. by 2024-25. This will not only allow the UK to build on our core strengths, but will also provide opportunities to grow research and innovation across the entire country.

The forthcoming Levelling Up White Paper will also play a critical role in setting out how R&D together with skills, infrastructure, business support and regeneration can improve living standards, grow the private sector, and increase and spread opportunity across the UK.

16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential implications for his policies of the Regional Innovation Deals as proposed by the European Union.

As the EU proposes new approaches, it will be important for the UK to respond appropriately, using our increased adaptability and freedoms as we capitalise on the opportunities of EU Exit. I look forward to scrutinising the EU’s proposal in due course.

The UK is incredibly well placed in this space, through well-established feedback mechanisms between regulated businesses, regulators and policy makers and broader work currently underway reviewing the existing regulatory framework and the important regard already paid to innovation friendly regulation in the UK Innovation Strategy’s commitments.

16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what percentage of the UK’s successful Horizon bids are based in (a) Newcastle, (b) the North East and (c) Greater London.

The UK stands ready to formalise our association to Horizon Europe at the earliest opportunity, but disappointingly there have been persistent delays from the EU.

UK participation in Horizon Europe benefits both the UK and the EU, bringing the expertise of UK researchers and innovators to vital collaborations, including those tackling global challenges such as climate change.

The regional distribution of funding under Horizon 2020 – the predecessor programme to Horizon Europe – can be seen in the table below, including for the North East and London. Horizon 2020 funding data is not available by individual cities (other than London). As Horizon Europe only recently started, data on successful bids will be reviewed as the programme progresses. UK entities are already eligible to apply ahead of formal association.

UK Regions

% of UK receipts

London

25.3%

North East

2.9%

16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much funding the Government will invest in skills in biosciences in the financial year 2022-23.

Following the Spending Review, BEIS will set R&D budgets through to 2024/25. Further details of how this funding will be allocated will be announced in due course.

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), funds a variety of doctoral training opportunities in partnership with others, details of these can be viewed on the UKRI website here: Studentships – UKRI.

The Department for Education have also asked the Office for Students to reform the Strategic Priorities Grant for 2021-22. These reforms included the reallocation of high-cost subject funding towards the provision of high-cost subjects that support the NHS and wider healthcare policy; science, engineering and technology subjects; and specific labour market needs. As a result, the total funding for high-cost subjects, such as medicine, engineering and other high-cost subjects, is 12% (£81m) higher in 21/22 compared to 20/21.

16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will provide details of Innovate UK’s grants, broken down by (a) amount, (b) recipient type, including company size bands, academia, research organisation, (c) model, including collaborative or single company, and (d) support level.

Details of Innovate UK grants are published on their website and can be viewed here:

Innovate UK funded projects since 2004 – UKRI.

16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential economic effect of making vaccine manufacturing one of the National Security and Investment Bill's 17 key sectors.

The Government consulted on the 17 areas of the economy in which certain acquisitions will be subject to mandatory notification under the National Security and Investment Act 2021. These are specified in the National Security and Investment Act 2021 (Notifiable Acquisition) (Specification of Qualifying Entities) Regulations 2021. Vaccine manufacturing does not feature as an area in its own right but some of the activities involved in vaccine manufacturing are addressed.

16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much and what proportion of Future Fund: Breakthrough allocated to date has been to businesses in (a) the North East, (b) England, and (c) Greater London.

Future Fund: Breakthrough has announced two investments to date, both in England. One of the companies is based in London and the other in Bristol. Details of the amounts invested are commercially confidential.

16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department plans to reinvest any investment recouped from the sale of Vaccine Manufacture and Innovation Centre into life sciences.

Officials are working closely with VMIC and other third parties to ensure that the UK retains a strong domestic vaccine manufacturing capability to contribute to our response to COVID-19 and resilience to other future health emergencies. We believe VMIC will play an important role in the UK’s vaccine ecosystem. At present, these discussions are commercially sensitive.

16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 14 December 2021 to Question 89571, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of intervening in the sale of VMIC on the grounds of maintaining the UK’s national capability to tackle public health emergencies.

VMIC is a private company. Mergers and acquisitions of private companies are primarily commercial matters for the parties concerned and the Government does not comment on the details of individual transactions. We remain strongly committed to support UK leadership in vaccines.

16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much funding the Government is planning to invest in dementia research in the financial year 2022-23.

As we announced in November, the Government will invest £375 million in neurodegenerative disease research over the next five years to fund projects into a range of diseases including dementia.

16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what growth-stage support is available to the UK’s tech sector.

The tech sector benefits from a range of support measures, including research grants and loans from Innovate UK; networks and industry contacts accessed through Catapults; and the government’s new ‘Help to Grow’ schemes that will help smaller businesses across the UK learn new skills, reach new customers and boost profits.

Companies at all stages of growth, including those operating in the tech sector, can access the advice and support they need through the Business Support Helpline, the British Business Bank’s finance hub, and government services available through GOV.UK.

Government support for the tech sector is coordinated by the Digital Economy Council, working with private sector bodies including Tech Nation and Tech UK. Tech Nation supports tech entrepreneurs at every stage of the business lifecycle. Its growth-stage programme, Upscale, is now in its seventh year and is providing 60 hours of expert support and coaching, spread over six months, to a cohort of 30 founders and senior leadership teams.

The British Business Bank crowds-in private capital to the tech sector through its commercial subsidiary, British Patient Capital (BPC), and through regional funds in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, the Midlands and the North of England. In announcing its 2021 results, BPC noted that 26 of its 51 fund investments were in the ‘venture growth’ space, defined as funds that invest at Series B onwards.

In addition to its own investments, BPC also runs Future Fund: Breakthrough, a £375 million programme focused on growth-stage companies. The fund announced its first tech investment on 17 November 2021, in the £60 million Series D round of Bristol-based Ultraleap, a provider of machine-learning-based hand tracking software.

16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has published alternative plans to full association with the EU Horizon programme.

The Government has always been clear that our priority is to support the UK’s research and development sector and maintain strong international collaborations and we will continue to do this in all future scenarios.

As announced in the 2021 Spending Review, in the event that the UK’s association to Horizon Europe is not formalised by the EU, the funding allocated to Horizon association will go to UK government R&D programmes, including those to support international partnerships.

In November, the Government announced a guarantee to provide a financial safety net for successful UK applicants to Horizon Europe, while the government continues to push to formalise our association as soon as possible. At the same time, I published an open letter to the R&D sector setting out the UK’s commitment to association, but also our priorities for supporting the sector in a scenario where association proves not possible. These build on the UK Research and Development Roadmap, which sets out a solid foundation for our plans in different scenarios.

16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 2 December 2021 to Question 79368, what progress has been made on attracting investment for Life Sciences Investment Programme.

There has been a strong response to the Life Sciences Investment Programme request for proposals, which was published on 7 July 2021. The British Business Bank is holding talks with fund managers who expressed an interest, and the first investments are expected to be announced during the first half of 2022.

16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to page 72 of the UK Innovation Strategy, published in July 2021, what steps his Department has taken to improve the regional distribution of private R&D investment.

The 2021 Spending Review set out the Government’s plan to increase public R&D spending to £22 billion a year by 2026/27 and restates our target for UK economy-wide R&D investment to reach 2.4% of GDP by 2027. Private investment forms around 2/3rd of current activity, so it is only by working with innovative businesses and funders from the private sector that we will reach 2.4%. The Innovation Strategy commits to using levers such as procurement, better regulation and the identification of key technologies as a means to create the conditions for private sector investment in innovation across the country.

We want to encourage businesses to invest in local economies and communities. The Innovation Strategy also outlined our thinking on how to grow innovation clusters, and to ensure that research and innovation benefits the economy and society across the UK through both systemic and targeted measures that respond to the varying needs of places. It announced £127 million in new investment through the Strength In Places Fund. This fund has pioneered bringing together consortia of diverse local actors, including business, to develop the R&D capabilities of places across the UK to improve local economic growth. The Government is investing over £300 million in 12 major projects in nations and regions across the UK, attracting an additional £340 million of investment including from private firms.

The forthcoming Levelling Up White Paper will take a comprehensive place-based approach to economic growth and will set out more detail on how the Government will support levelling up through R&D.

16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Innovation Strategy, what steps has his Department taken to facilitate interactions between businesses and (a) UK Research and Innovation and (b) other public bodies.

In the development of the Innovation Strategy, the Department worked across Government, engaging at both Ministerial and official level and with over 400 businesses and organisations across the whole of the UK.

The Innovation Expert Group, which was announced as part of the R&D Roadmap in 2020, featured representatives from innovative UK businesses and business-focused trade bodies. It played a key role in supporting the development of the UK Innovation Strategy by facilitating conversations between officials from across Whitehall and a broad spectrum of UK businesses. The discussions generated continue to help us to refine government's innovation policy thinking.

Since the Innovation Strategy was published, the Department has continued a high level of engagement with businesses.

In addition, in early 2022 and as announced in the Innovation Strategy, we will establish the Business Innovation Forum with representatives from the UK's largest R&D intensive businesses, UK startups and scaleups, and experts in the funding and commercialisation of innovation. The forum will galvanise action from the business community and provide an opportunity for officials from UKRI and other public bodies to interact with key innovation stakeholders in addition to the interaction they already undertake with industry.

The Department will also continue to facilitate bilateral conversations with UK businesses on innovation policy this year.

14th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will provide a breakdown of innovation policy expenditure during the financial year ended 5 April 2021 of (a) employees, (b) individual contractors and consultations, excluding KTN, (c) other Innovate UK operational spending and overheads, (d) Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund grants, (e) other R&D grants, (f) SBRI contracts, excluding contract funding coming from other parts of the public sector, (g) loans to businesses, (h) core funding of catapults, (i) KTN operations, (j) other Innovate UK programmes and (k) other expenditures; and if he will make an estimate of how those annual expenditures are expected to change over the next three years.

A breakdown of expenditure for the whole of UKRI is set out in the UKRI annual report and accounts for 2020-21 (Note 2 Page 158)[1].

[1] UKRI-200721-AnnualReport2020-2021.pdf

14th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will provide a breakdown of Innovate UK expenditure during the financial year ended 5 April 2021 of (a) employees, (b) individual contractors and consultations, excluding KTN, (c) other Innovate UK operational spending and overheads, (d) Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund grants, (e) other R&D grants, (f) SBRI contracts, excluding contract funding coming from other parts of the public sector, (g) loans to businesses, (h) core funding of catapults, (i) KTN operations, (j) other Innovate UK programmes and (k) other expenditures; and if he will make an estimate of how those annual expenditures are planned to change over the Spending Review.

A breakdown of expenditure for the whole of UKRI is set out in the UKRI annual report and accounts for 2020-21 (Note 2 Page 158)[1].

[1] UKRI-200721-AnnualReport2020-2021.pdf

13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he plans to allocate further funding to Oneweb; and what progress Oneweb has made on expanding its UK supply chain.

The Government does not propose to invest further in OneWeb. Seventy percent of OneWeb’s workforce is UK-based. In addition, the active component of OneWeb’s current generation of satellites (the payload) is manufactured in the UK by Teledyne.

OneWeb is aware of the Government’s ambition for it to further expand UK content in its satellites, including onshoring the manufacturing of its second-generation satellites.

8th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the timescales for the sale of the Vaccine Manufacturing Innovation Centre; and whether that matter is subject to the consideration of the National Security and Investment Bill.

The Government’s strategy for vaccine manufacturing and innovation can be found in the Life Sciences Vision policy paper, published in July 2021.

Officials are working closely with the Vaccine Manufacturing Innovation Centre (VMIC) and other third parties to ensure that the UK retains a strong domestic vaccine manufacturing capability to contribute to our response to COVID-19 and resilience to other future health emergencies. At present, these discussions are commercially sensitive.

The National Security and Investment Act 2021, which comes into force fully on 4 January, gives the Secretary of State powers to intervene in acquisitions of control of certain entities and assets that have given rise to or may give rise to a risk to national security. In addition, the Enterprise Act 2002 was amended in 2020 to allow the Secretary of State to intervene in mergers and takeovers on the public interest grounds of maintaining in the United Kingdom the capability to combat, and to mitigate the effects of, public health emergencies.

8th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, where his strategy for vaccine manufacturing and innovation is set out.

The Government’s strategy for vaccine manufacturing and innovation can be found in the Life Sciences Vision policy paper, published in July 2021.

Officials are working closely with the Vaccine Manufacturing Innovation Centre (VMIC) and other third parties to ensure that the UK retains a strong domestic vaccine manufacturing capability to contribute to our response to COVID-19 and resilience to other future health emergencies. At present, these discussions are commercially sensitive.

The National Security and Investment Act 2021, which comes into force fully on 4 January, gives the Secretary of State powers to intervene in acquisitions of control of certain entities and assets that have given rise to or may give rise to a risk to national security. In addition, the Enterprise Act 2002 was amended in 2020 to allow the Secretary of State to intervene in mergers and takeovers on the public interest grounds of maintaining in the United Kingdom the capability to combat, and to mitigate the effects of, public health emergencies.

8th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, where the additional vaccine supply for the extension of the covid-19 booster programme to younger cohorts will come from.

We have already secured the doses we need for everyone in the UK who requires a booster this Winter, but, like every responsible government, we continue to plan for all possible future scenarios. The UK is proactively managing our vaccine supply and we are in regular contact with the vaccine manufacturers.

8th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, on what date the decision was made to sell the Vaccine Manufacturing Innovation Centre; and for what reason that decision was made.

The Government’s strategy for vaccine manufacturing and innovation can be found in the Life Sciences Vision policy paper, published in July 2021.

Officials are working closely with the Vaccine Manufacturing Innovation Centre (VMIC) and other third parties to ensure that the UK retains a strong domestic vaccine manufacturing capability to contribute to our response to COVID-19 and resilience to other future health emergencies. At present, these discussions are commercially sensitive.

The National Security and Investment Act 2021, which comes into force fully on 4 January, gives the Secretary of State powers to intervene in acquisitions of control of certain entities and assets that have given rise to or may give rise to a risk to national security. In addition, the Enterprise Act 2002 was amended in 2020 to allow the Secretary of State to intervene in mergers and takeovers on the public interest grounds of maintaining in the United Kingdom the capability to combat, and to mitigate the effects of, public health emergencies.

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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many small businesses (a) applied for and (b) were awarded loans from the Coronavirus Bounce Back Loan Scheme in (a) England and (b) North East England to date.

As of our final evaluation of the scheme of July 6 2021, 1,357,116 Bounce Back Loans have been offered in England, to the value of £41.47bn. In the North East of England, 48,262 loans were offered to the value of £1,341,695,001.

Across the UK, 2,094,858 applications for a Bounce Back Loan were made; 1,560,309 were successful. We do not hold this data at regional level.

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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?

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.

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.

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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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.

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.

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.

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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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.

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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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.

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.

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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Chancellor of the Exchequer
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Chancellor of the Exchequer
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Chancellor of the Exchequer
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Chancellor of the Exchequer
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Chancellor of the Exchequer
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Chancellor of the Exchequer
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Chancellor of the Exchequer
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Chancellor of the Exchequer
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Chancellor of the Exchequer
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
Chancellor of the Exchequer
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Chancellor of the Exchequer
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Chancellor of the Exchequer
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Chancellor of the Exchequer
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
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
Chancellor of the Exchequer
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
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
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)