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.

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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