Government bets on tech research for growth

The government is to create a new type of university focused on science and technology, in a bid to boost long-term economic growth.

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Technical skills

The government is to create a new type of university focused on science and technology, in a bid to boost long-term economic growth.

Universities, science facilities and researchers are the best single hope for making our way in the high-tech, universities and science minister David Willetts said in a speech.

Local economic partnerships, universities, businesses and international partners are being asked to come together to put forward proposals for new institutions.

But Willetts said there would be no additional government funding for the initiative. “This time we will be looking to private finance and perhaps sponsorship from some of the businesses that are keen to recruit more British graduates,” he said.

Addressing think tank Policy Exchange he said Willetts praised the growth of Tech City, the government-backed technology hub in East London. “This is a classic example of what can be achieved by sustained attention from the very top of government,” he said.

He added: “Behind it lies our national capacity in high performance computing. We were in danger of losing our position with very few of the world’s most powerful 500 computers.”

Willetts said the move would stimulate long-term growth. “This Coalition, faced with the crucial challenge of sustaining growth after the deepest recession since the War, has a strategy for high tech enterprise,” he said.

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Agreed - he didn't say anything earth shattering. But v interesting that the government increasingly seems to be putting its faith in the tech sector to pull the economy out of stagnation.

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And what about the innovator who has product ready now and likely sitting outside formal institutional structures getting more frustrated as HMG fail to understand the real challenges? - HMG need to produce quicker wins to see UK drag itself out of the mire. Just dropped note to Stephen Allot the Crown rep for SMEs to discuss maybe Willetts needs to listen in? 

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If you want to discuss this further, David, I'd be interesting in having a chat: khall@techtarget.com

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