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18 May 2007 : Column 993Wcontinued
10 December 2002
10 June 2003
10 December 2003
7 July 2004
10 December 2004
10 June 2005
8 December 2005
8 June 2006
7 December 2006
24 April 2002
30 July 2002
4 November 2003
1 September 2004
5 October 2004
18 October 2006
21 November 2006
Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry which representative of Bridges Community Ventures made the presentation to the Capital for Enterprise Board on 21 November 2006. 
Margaret Hodge: Philip Newborough and Michelle Giddens, representing Bridges Community Ventures, jointly made the presentation to the Capital for Enterprise Board on 2 November 2006.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many staff funded by the public purse in his Department are classified as people without posts. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: In the DTI there are currently 73 staff who are surplus seeking to continue their career in the civil service. All are provided with dedicated management support to assist with securing redeployment opportunities. They all have access to a voluntary early retirement and severance scheme.
Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the definition of waste is in the context of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive; what guidance he has issued on whether electrical goods designated for repair and resale come within this definition; and if he will make a statement. 
Malcolm Wicks: The definition of waste applied to the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations (WEEE) is given in article 1 (1) (a) of Directive2006/12/EU, that is
waste shall mean any substance or object in the categories set out in Annex I which the holder discards or intends or is required to discard.
Non-statutory guidance on the UK WEEE regulations, published in February 2007, encourages the prioritisation of the reuse of whole electrical and electronic appliances under the regulations and the forms of evidence acceptable to the environment agencies to allow producers to count the reuse of whole appliances against their notified obligations.
Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether it is Government policy to promote the repair and resale of damaged electrical goods as an alternative to their disposal as waste; and if he will make a statement. 
Malcolm Wicks: Electrical products suitable for refurbishment and reuse should be prioritised under the UK WEEE regulations. All equipment identified for legitimate reuse will be counted towards producers financial obligations provided appropriate evidence is presented to the environment agencies.
I will be establishing an independent advisory body on the operation of the UK WEEE regulations later in the year. One of the tasks of the body will be to identify and disseminate good practice across all aspects of the regulations and the supporting infrastructure. One area for consideration will be the prioritisation of environmental legitimate reuse.
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate he has made of (a) the average life of an electricity meter, (b) the number of electricity meters in the UK, (c) the number of electricity meters changed each year and (d) the time it would take to replace all existing electricity meters with new electricity monitors; and if he will make a statement. 
Malcolm Wicks: There are 28.5 million electricity meters in Great Britain. The average life of an electricity meter is 20 years, and around 5 per cent. are changed each year. Electricity meters could not be replaced by any device that did not meet the legal requirement that, where electricity is used, it must be measured by an appropriate meter. The Government will set out their views on electricity and gas metering in the forthcoming Energy White Paper.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what progress has been made on setting up a new Energy and Environmental Research Institute further to the Chancellor's announcement in the Budget 2006; 
(2) what progress has been made in setting up the Environmental Technologies Institute; and when he expects the Institute to be opened. 
Malcolm Wicks: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry published the prospectus for the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) on 14 September 2006. It envisaged that the Institute would be legally established and fully operational in 2008, with 50:50 public/private sector funding. The intention is that Institute will be legally incorporated over the next few months. A shortlist of organisations which have been invited to prepare detailed submissions to host the ETI director and support staff was announced on 14 May. The first technical programmes and the host organisation should be identified over the summer.
Susan Kramer: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on what date he expects to publish the Energy White Paper. 
Mr. Darling: I refer the hon. Member to the business statement made yesterday by my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House of Commons (Mr. Straw) on 17 May 2007, Official Report, column 737.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps his Department is taking to lift households out of fuel poverty. 
Malcolm Wicks: Responsibility for tackling fuel poverty in England is shared between the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The Department of Trade and Industrys main contribution to tackling fuel poverty is through ensuring a competitive energy market, which will bear down on the cost of energy to the benefit of all consumers but particularly those in fuel poverty.
The Department of Trade and Industry itself has a number of specific policies to tackle the issue of fuel poverty. The Departments Design and Demonstration Unit has designed and delivered projects to provide gas connections to deprived communities, and it is now developing community projects utilising renewable technologies. Last winter work was taken forward with energy suppliers, Ofgem and other key players to mail out to 100,000 elderly households in receipt of pension credit offering a range of assistance.
The Department has also liaised closely with energy suppliers on the creation of the Home Heat Helpline, which provides a central point of information about help available from energy suppliers and Government. It has also encouraged energy suppliers to introduce social tariffs, price freezes and other measures for fuel poor and low income customers.
The forthcoming Energy White Paper will set out some of the steps that are needed to tackle fuel poverty across all its causes.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what percentage of imports into the UK were from India in (a) 2005-06 and (b) 2006-07. 
Mr. McCartney: Table 9.3 of the ONS UK Balance of Payments Pink Book implies that in 2005 1.1 per cent. of imports of goods and services into the United Kingdom came from India. UK exports of goods and services to India were 1.2 per cent. of total UK exports. Similar figures for trade in goods and services on a balance of payments basis are not yet available for 2006.
HM Revenue and Customs' Overseas Trade Statistics imply that in 2005 1 per cent. of imports of goods into the United Kingdom came from India and 1.3 per cent. UK exports of goods went to India, while in 2006 1.1 per cent. of imports of goods came from India and 1.1 per cent. of exports of goods went to India.
The sectors with the highest share of UK imports of goods from India in 2006 were:
Articles of apparel and clothing accessories20.2 per cent.
Textile yarn, fabrics, made up articles etc8.3 per cent.
Miscellaneous manufactured articles7.2 per cent.
Petroleum and products and related articles6.7 per cent.
Manufactures of metal not elsewhere specified5.8 per cent.
The sectors with the highest share of UK exports of goods to India in 2006 were:
Non-metallic mineral manufacturers (almost entirely diamonds) 41.5 per cent.
Power generating machinery and equipment6.7 per cent.
General industrial machinery and equipment4.9 per cent.
Other transport equipment4.7 per cent.
Metalliferous ores and metal scrap4.5 per cent.
The ONS estimate of the level of UK foreign direct investment (FDI) in India at the end of 2005 was 0.3 per cent. of the total UK level of outward FDI. The estimate of the level of Indian FDI in the UK was 0.1 per cent. of the total level of inward FDI in the UK.
In 2005-06 UK Trade and Investment saw a 111 per cent. rise in the number of inward investment projects from India, which reached 76 (including mergers and acquisitions) worth £1.02 billion. As a result of this increase, India rose from eighth to third in UKTIs FDI league table by project numbers, behind the USA and Japan.
Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what steps he is taking to ensure that an appropriate level of industrial land is available for business start-ups and other small and medium-sized enterprises in the manufacturing sector; 
(2) what steps he is taking to ensure sufficient supply of land and accommodation for start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises in the manufacturing sector. 
Meg Munn: I have been asked to reply.
The Secretary of State meets with a range of organisations, but has had no specific discussions with employers' organisations or with the Local Government Association about sites and facilities needed for start-up businesses and other small and medium-sized enterprises in the manufacturing sector.
National planning policy set out in Planning Policy Guidance 4: Industrial, commercial development and small firms, asks local planning authorities to ensure that there is a sufficient quantity and variety of land available to meet the differing needs of businesses. Local planning authorities should also ensure that there is sufficient land available which is readily capable of development and well served by infrastructure.
Regional planning bodies and local planning authorities, in preparing and reviewing their development plans, should make a realistic assessment of the quantity of land likely to be needed in their areas to meet the needs of business and developers. That assessment should ensure that suitable locations are available for start-up businesses likely to come forward in the manufacturing sector as well as for small and medium-sized enterprises.
To assist planning authorities in assessing the overall demand for and supply of employment land, we have published Employment Land Reviews: Guidance Note (December 2004). This guidance seeks to help planning authorities assess the suitability of sites to accommodate employment development, to help protect the best sites in the face of competition from higher value uses and to help them identify those sites which are no longer needed for employment development and which can be released for other uses, including housing.
Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the (a) present and (b) future importance to the (i) UK and (ii) North East economy of nanotechnology; and what steps his Department is taking to support this industry. 
Malcolm Wicks: Worldwide it has been estimated that the market for nanotechnology alone could be worth £1 trillion by 2013. The benefits to the UK economy from exploiting the opportunities this represents should not be and are not being underestimated.
To that end the DTI is spending £90 million over six years (it was announced in 2003) on research and infrastructure that promotes the commercialisation of Micro and Nanotechnologies (MNT), with a focus on collaborative research and technology transfer. Much of this is pump priming funding and includes:
funding of £40 million for applied research projects that are relevant to industry;
funding of over £50 million to establish and maintain for five years a network of 23 Nanotechnology Centres developing nanotechnology solutions for industry in the areas of nanometrology, nanomaterials, nanomedicine and nanofabrication;
funding for the Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Networkthis a vehicle for the community to develop its ideas and interactions and a communications route between that community and the Government; and
support for the Nanotechnology Industries Associationan independent organisation that promotes the responsible use of nanotechnology and raises awareness of its many applications among key audiences.
This funding has been spread across the UK, and the North East is the location of no fewer than four
Nanotechnology Centres(1) and is well represented in the consortia undertaking the nanotechnology applied research projects.
After the third MNT competition for the Applied Research Programme, in spring 2005, the Technology Strategy Board decided that future support for MNT would be integrated with other technology areas such as materials within the Technology Programme. It is through this mechanism that future funding for nanotechnology will funded; for example, the spring 2007 Technology Programme Competition has two priority areas which involve the application of nanotechnology:
Smart, Bioactive and Nanostructures Materials for Health£7 million
Plastic Electronics£5 million.
The Technology Strategy Board will be responsible for the research agenda and expenditure on nanotechnology.
The Research Councils are funding ongoing fundamental research. For example, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has spent over £132 million since 2003 on nanotechnology, and is currently investing about £40 million per annum in research grants and supporting 40 new PhD studentships per annum in the area.
Regionally, North East England has a strong micro- and nanotechnology capability in the areas of bio-nano materials and devices, as well as semi-conductor research and production and the integration of these technologies in areas such as sensors and photonics.
ONE NorthEast, in collaboration with the DTI, is making a major investment in MNT, and the North East is home to the University Innovation Centre for Nanotechnology. This is a virtual centre fronted by the five Regional Universities, with a public investment of £7 million from DTI and One NorthEast, and leveraging an extra £14 million. It facilitates knowledge transfer, the strengthening of capacity and capability, and open access to state-of-the-art facilities.
North East England has two centres of excellence concerned with facilitating the application of nanotechnology, the Centre for Excellence in Nanotechnology, Microtechnology and Photonics Systems (Cenamps) and the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI). Both have major initiatives concerned with nanotechnology, which include the Fuel Cells Application Facility, a major bio-nano and medicine programme and the National Industrial Biotechnology Facility (£7 million). The Centres are funded and supported by ONE NorthEast, in partnership with Central Government, Universities and businesses. These initiatives span and bring together different disciplines, industries and sectors as befits the broad outlook of nanotechnology. Nanotechnology is also becoming increasingly important to the regions process industries. In this sector, the CPI provides industrial research and development expertise, for example in advanced manufacturing and new product development in material properties.
Additionally, these Centres of Excellence play a key strategic role in the economy of North East England, facilitating cultural change within the Regional Universities, encouraging them to become more entrepreneurial, and strengthening and building on the region's capabilities in emerging small-scale technologies.
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