§ 32. Mr. Goggins
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what action his Department is taking to support the development of new business opportunities linked to universities. 
§ Ms Hewitt
A key aim of the Government's White Paper, "Excellence and Opportunity: a science and innovation policy for the 21st century", which was published in July of this year, is to strengthen the links between business and universities to realise the business opportunities offered by science. The White Paper sets out a range of measures to support these stronger links which build on the success of schemes such as Science Enterprise Centres to bring business skills into the curriculum and University Challenge to provide seed funding. These will provide our scientists and engineers with more incentives and skills, and strengthen the links between them and industry, so that they can play a greater role in wealth creation.
The White Paper announced a Higher Education Innovation Fund of £140 million over three years to further enhance university-business knowledge transfer. This will triple existing HEROBAC funding by the third year. It will be a permanent funding stream to build on universities' potential as drivers of growth in the knowledge economy, and will, therefore, help universities to respond to the needs of business—especially SMEs. We are also providing funding for one more round of University Challenge and putting £15 million more into Science Enterprise Centres. We are also doubling the number of new starts for Faraday Partnerships, from four to eight a year, to link the science base to business networks.