§ Mr. Alan Johnson
[holding answer 10 March 2000]: In 1998 the Department made total payments of £1,370,000 in grants or contracts to TWI. Much of this was for technology transfer activity in areas such as laser, plastics, structural composites and joining generally. The largest project (with grant of around 70 per cent. of the total paid) was to develop an internet based technology transfer delivery system based on BT communications expertise.45W
In 1999 grants and contracts for similar work totalled £420,000 of which around 45 per cent, was to research the feasibility of developing their internet based technology transfer system into a knowledge trading system for other UK knowledge providers.
In addition over this period TWI have secured grants through the North East Region for several projects funded from European Structural Funds, which the Department manages.