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Lords to question Science Minister on delivering UK innovation ambitions

Tomorrow, the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee will ask the Science Minister and industry leaders how the Catapult Network can increase private sector R&D investment, in the final evidence sessions of this inquiry.

The Committee is concluding its inquiry into the contribution of the Catapults to delivering the Government’s R&D Roadmap. The Catapults are not-for-profit, independent technology and innovation centres, which connect businesses with the UK's research and academic communities.

The Committee will first of all hear from leading figures from Local Enterprise Partnerships, the Northern Powerhouse, and the CBI, to learn what the private sector would need in order to make further investments. The Committee will then question Minister Solloway about the evidence heard over the course of the inquiry.

The session can be followed live on Parliament TV from 9:40am on Tuesday 12 January 2021.

Witnesses

At 9.40am

  • Professor Juergen Maier CBE, Former CEO of Siemens UK, Chair of the Digital Catapult, and Co-Chair of Made Smarter

At 10.00am

  • Felicity Burch, Director of Innovation and Digital at Confederation of British Industry (CBI)
  • Roger Marsh OBE DL, Chair at Northern Powerhouse 11 (NP11), and Chair at Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP)

At 11.00am

  • Amanda Solloway MP, Minister for Science, Research and Innovation at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
  • Louise Dunsby, Deputy Director for Innovation Policy at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Possible questions

  • Is achieving the 2.4% R&D investment target feasible in the timeframe set by the Government, including the two-thirds anticipated from industry?
  • What are the barriers to the private sector investing in R&D in the UK, and are the Catapults able to help industry overcome these barriers?
  • Are there any barriers preventing businesses from effectively engaging with universities?
  • What sectors hold most promise for enhancing private sector investment in the UK? Which current Catapults would be involved in catalysing this investment, and are further Catapults needed?
  • What should be the role of the Catapults in increasing R&D investment, including across different regions of the UK?

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