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Innovative new technology sought to improve disaster management and ease traffic congestion

Innovative new technology sought to improve disaster management and ease traffic congestion

TECHNOLOGY STRATEGY BOARD News Release issued by The Government News Network on 5 February 2008

Disaster mitigation and response, traffic management, road maintenance and pollution monitoring are some of the diverse areas set to benefit from £10 million investment in research and development by the Technology Strategy Board.

The collection of data from a wide range of sources underpins many applications including traffic management, healthcare, pollution monitoring and building management. Environments that are large-scale, high-density, harsh or unstable make data gathering particularly challenging. Without up-to-date and reliable data, it is difficult to understand or predict the dynamics of the environment. The government-funded Technology Strategy Board is to invest £10 million to encourage British companies to research and develop innovative data-gathering technologies that could be rapidly configured and deployed by users such as the police, fire and rescue services, local authorities, utility companies and many others.

Explaining why the Technology Strategy Board is investing in this area, Chief Executive Iain Gray said: "The ability to gather information in complex or difficult environments is vital for organisations such as the emergency services, transport authorities and power companies. Many UK companies have particular strengths in sensing, instrumentation and imaging technologies, and in telecommunications and intelligent systems. Bringing this expertise together would give the UK the capability to offer complete tracking and monitoring solutions, and to exploit the worldwide demand for such technology."

The Technology Strategy Board believes that innovative data-gathering technology would improve operating efficiency in many industry and service sectors, such as:

* Air, water and soil management;
* Control and security of utility supply;
* Traffic management;
* Road and rail infrastructure maintenance;
* Buildings maintenance and management;
* Health monitoring of patients in ambulances;
* Pollution monitoring;
* Monitoring and maintenance of civil engineering works;
* Instrumentation and control in vehicles and planes.
* Cultural Heritage: environmental management of historic buildings, collections, sites and landscapes.

The Gathering Data in Complex Environment funding competition - part of the Technology Strategy Board's autumn 2007 call for proposals in a number of innovation and technology areas - will stimulate UK companies to develop technologies that can be used successfully in challenging environments to gather data that currently cannot be gathered. The investment will help to accelerate development, bringing the technologies quickly and cost effectively to market.

The Technology Strategy Board's investment will provide partial funding for winning projects that involve businesses working collaboratively with other businesses and/or with research organisations and academic institutions.

Applicants must register their intention to apply for funding, and submit an outline of their proposal, by 4 April 2008 and the final closing date for applications is 8 May 2008. Further information is available at http://www.technologyprogramme.org.uk

Notes to Editors

The Technology Strategy Board is a business-led executive non-departmental public body, established by the government. Its mission is to promote and support research into, and development and exploitation of, technology and innovation for the benefit of UK business, in order to increase economic growth and improve the quality of life. It is sponsored by the Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS).

The Technology Strategy Board's Collaborative Research and Development Programme is investing directly in new and emerging technologies and has been designed to help businesses work with each other or with academic partners to develop technologies that will underpin products and services of the future. Since 2004, the programme has supported about 700 projects across 40 technology areas with a combined business and government investment worth over £1 billion.

On 8 November 2007 the Technology Strategy Board announced a new competition for proposals for collaborative research and development, representing a Government investment of around £100 million. The competition is designed to generate innovative proposals in which the business and research communities collaborate on research and technology projects to deliver successful new products and services. Submissions have been invited in eight technology areas: Cell Therapy, Material for Energy and High Value Manufacturing (opened 8 November 2007), Low Carbon Energy Technologies, Advanced Lighting, Lasers & Displays and Technologies for Health (opened 19 December 2007), Gathering Data in Complex Environments and Creative Industries (opening 30 January 2008).

For further information about the Technology Strategy Board please visit http://www.innovateuk.org

Issued by
Nick Sheppard
Media Relations Manager
Technology Strategy Board
Block B, North Star House
North Star Avenue
Swindon
SN2 1JF

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