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RDAs welcome MPs' call for Turing Centres

17 February 2011

England’s Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) welcome today’s report from the Science and Technology Select Committee on Technology and Innovation Centres.  The Committee recommends that these centres should be called “Turing Centres” in recognition of Alan Turing’s significant role in the creation of the modern computer.

The report recognises the need for the Turing Centres to be networked with existing centres and recommends the “hub and spoke” approach as a good way to spread the economic benefit of the centres throughout the UK.  RDAs have used this approach, which offers access points for businesses, and in particular small and medium size companies (SMEs), that might otherwise find it difficult to work with national centres.

RDAs have supported innovation centres in their regions to stimulate and incentivise applied research with business.   RDAs spent over £300 million per year in 08/09 and 09/10 on supporting innovation; around half of this was invested in innovation centres.  We are pleased that the value of this investment is recognised in the Committee’s report and their recommendation that the new centres must build on existing centres and expertise. 

Pam Alexander, Chief Executive of SEEDA, said on behalf of the RDAs:

“We are pleased that this report recognises the merits of existing centres developed by RDAs as part of the £300 million we have invested in business innovation in each of the last two years, and the good practice in our work.  Building on these foundations, the network of Turing Centres can help to maximise the growth of both nationally significant and local economies, and increase the UK's international competitiveness - a critical element of growing a strong economy and tackling the public deficit.”

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