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MPs demand explanation of small business underspend

The House of Commons Business, Innovation and Skills Committee has called on the government to explain why it failed to meet spending targets for Innovate UK’s Small Business Research Initiative.

The government committed to spending  £100 million on the Small Business Research Initiative, which helps companies compete for government contracts, in 2013-14. However, in his evidence to the committee, science minister Greg Clark said that only £78.5m had been awarded via the SBRI. Clark could not say whether the 2014-15 target of £200m SBRI spending would be met. However, he told the committee, “[Government] can and should do better than this.” 

In its report Business-University Collaboration published on 1 December, the committee calls on the government to explain why the 2013-14 target was not met, and to clarify the corrective steps to be taken if it is not on track to meet the 2014-15 target.

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