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Innovate09: IT is a low priority for government R&D funding

The IT sector has its work cut out to get a share of R&D funding available from the government's Technology...

The IT sector has its work cut out to get a share of R&D funding available from the government's Technology Strategy Board (TSB), which is prioritising regenerative medicine, transport and logistics, agriculture, infectious diseases and low-carbon housing.

Business secretary Peter Mandelson will open the TSB's annual showcase, Innovate09, this morning. He will say that the TSB has already invested £82.5m in new technologies, and he will invite businesses to compete for £39.5m of government R&D funding.

He will also announce a new £50m programme for R&D in sustainable agriculture and food production that will seek new answers to food production and its environmental impact.

A spokesman for Intellect, the industry suppliers' association, said the IT sector had benefitted from the TSB's interests in the past and was working to keep IT on the government's R&D agenda.

She said IT was enabling factor in many of the things the government set as priorities, so Intellect was hopeful that members would still benefit from the spending.

TSB chairman Graham Spittle will say this year the TSB will stress energy, low-carbon technologies, life sciences and the digital economy.

"Five of these strategies are being published for the first time today, looking at nanoscale technologies, medicines and healthcare, biosciences, resource efficiency and emerging technologies," he will say.

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