Cameron spends £200m on hi-tech innovation drive

THE Prime Minister will today unveil plans to invest over £200m in a network of technology innovation centres (TICs), designed to help hi-tech firms access funding and expertise.

David Cameron, who is trying to draw a line under last week’s spending review, will say a “new economic dynamism” can create jobs and growth even as cuts start to bite.

“These centres will sit between universities and businesses, bringing the two together. They won’t just carry out their own in-house research, they will spread knowledge too, connecting businesses – large and small, new and old – to potential new technologies, making them aware of funding streams and providing access to skills and equipment,” he is expected to say.

The centres have been based on a model proposed by James Dyson, the vacuum cleaner designer, and entrepreneur Hermann Hauser, a key figure in Cambridge’s technology community.

Each centre will focus on a different area of cutting edge technology. Although plans have yet to be finalised, one TIC is likely to focus on plastic electronics, while others will concentrate on regenerative medicine and future internet technologies.

Meanwhile, Cameron will also pledge to spend £200bn on Britain’s infrastructure, including money already pledged in the spending review coupled with investment from the private sector.