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NEWS Wednesday, 10 March, 1999, 09:20 GMT
UK university science gets 100m boost
The seedbed of innovation in the UK is basic science, the chancellor Gordon Brown said in his Budget speech.

He announced 100m of new investment and equipment for university science laboratories as part of a 1bn programme of upgrading British science.

Mr Brown said he aimed to create a "winner's circle of innovation - inventions in Britain, that are then developed in Britain and manufactured in Britain, creating growth and jobs in Britain".

He announced a number of measures to encourage British manufacturers to take British ideas and turn them into products.

The University Challenge Fund will increase by 30%, to 65m. This seed fund is intended to help the commercialisation process by, for example, financing managerial skills, securing intellectual property, constructing a prototype or preparing of a business plan. He also allocated 20m for start-up funding of high-tech, high-risk companies in the UK.

On Wednesday, he will announce a new corporate tax incentive to encourage large companies to invest venture capital in innovative small companies.

In November 1998, Science Minister Lord Sainsbury announced where 700m extra funds for science would be targeted over the next four years. The money became available after the government's Comprehensive Spending Review.

The government promised to replace "obsolete equipment" and "crumbling laboratories" and inject cash into postgraduate science research.

The Medical Research Council and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council gained the most - increases of 90m to 334m and 50m to 208m respectively, over four years.

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Gordon Brown: Targetting tax cuts and investment for the 'Computers For All' initiative
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Gordon Brown: Inventions in Britain - developed and manufactured in Britain
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16 Dec 98 | Science/Nature
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