The Confederation of British Industry has urged the Government to provide continued or extra funding for the Technology Strategy Board, the UK’s innovation agency, saying it has been “underfunded” to date.
The recommendation is included in the CBI’s submission to the Chancellor’s Spending Round for 2015/16. The CBI argued that the priority of the spending round should be to protect innovation, and singled out the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) as one of the bodies leading progress in this respect.
“We support maintaining current funding for the TSB and further enhancing this if possible, as the TSB has been underfunded to date,” said the CBI.
David Bott, director of innovation programmes at the TSB, welcomed the remark, saying it highlighted the role of the TSB as “one of the crucial tools protecting the mechanics of innovation in the UK”.
He added: “Increased support from Government would mean that we can continue to keep the heart of innovation beating through even more of the best British businesses in the country today.”
The TSB is sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). Among its priorities for this financial year are a Resource Efficiency Action Plan for 2013/14 that includes projects on rethinking product design and supply chains in the context of the circular economy, and on collecting enviromental data. Projects included in the plan are worth up to £8.3m in total.
The TSB has previously provided support for several initiatives within the waste management and recycling industry:
- In June, BIS announced that TSB and Research Councils would invest £8.4m into 3D printing projects, in which recycled material can play a significant role.
- In January, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) announced that it would provide some £10m to the development of innovative bioenergy projects as part of an EU scheme to promote bioenergy, with the TSB contributing £4m.
- In July 2012, Defra launched an initiative coordinated by the TSB to boost the extraction of valuable metals and minerals from domestic and commercial waste supported by a £200,000 fund for feasibility studies.