§ Mr. Ingram
To ask the President of the Board of Trade what was the total allocation of funds from his Department's budget for the innovation and technology start-up schemes administered by his Department in the last year for which figures are available. 
§ Mr. Ian Taylor
[holding answer 24 June 1996]: Details of my Department's innovation and technology budget are published in the DTI expenditure plans report, a copy of which is available in the Library of the House.63W
High technology start-up companies are specifically supported under the small firms merit award for research and technology scheme, on which £10.9 million was spent in 1995–96. Technology-based start-ups may also benefit from the help and advice offered by innovation and technology counsellors in business links, on which DTI spent £1.3 million in 1995–96. This includes sign posting to business innovation centres, incubators, entrepreneurship programmes and other specialist local provision.
High technology start-ups will, also be offered support under the "Biotechnology Means Business" programme and may benefit from elements of the information society initiative.
More generally, business links provide basic advice to start-up business and access to locally available services, typically involving counselling, training and other services.