§ Sir Neil Macfarlane
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what funds his Department makes available for research into desalination both for(a) the United Kingdom and (b) overseas markets.
§ Mr. Forth
I launched my Department's "Wealth from the Oceans" advanced technology programme in April 1989 with a budget of £9,000,000 to encourage firms to carry out more pre-competitive collaborative research into the ocean technologies, including desalination. Some £6,000,000 remains uncommitted and is available to match those sums advanced by industrial consortia whose proposals for longer-term research in this area satisfy the programme's rules.
Alternatively, firms wishing to collaborate with companies located in one or more of 18 other countries in Europe to investigate desalination can apply for EUREKA status and support, which is made available on a case-by-case basis.