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12INNOVATION UK UK knowledge economy has a unique opportunity to influence the global market and for UK companies to exploit the opportunities on offer. The chalenge of low carbon Two innovation platforms are currently focused very clearly on regulatory drives to mitigate climate change. Taking as its cue the requirement for all new domestic buildings to be zero carbon by 2016, with non- domestic following by 2019, the Low Impact Buildings Innova-tion Platform was established in May 2008 with an ini-tial budget of £ 30m over three years. It has identified key areas as design for future climate change, design tools and user- centred design, management and operation of buildings, innovation in the build process and better materials and components. In addition to programmes under these themes, a major SBRI pro-gramme called Retrofit for the Future is working with social landlords to stimulate new solutions to the challenge of making the existing housing stock perform better in environmental terms. Road transport contributes a quarter of all UK carbon dioxide emissions, so road vehicles will have to be part of the solution in reaching our national commitment to reduce emissions. The Low Carbon Vehicles Innovation Platform is the government's main channel for delivering innovation in this area. It launched its first competition in 2007 and projects already well developed include Jaguar Land- Rover's Limo- Green and a fuel- cell taxi project led by Intelligent Energy. This year, the Innovation Platform launched the Low Car-bon Vehicle Demonstrator programme, the largest co-ordinated trial of electric and hybrid vehicles ever to take place in Europe. With £ 25m of public funding matched by the equivalent amount from business, over 340 vehi-cles from a wide variety of manufacturers will be trialled in seven areas around the UK to demonstrate how they perform in real- world conditions. Co- funders include the Department for Transport, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, One North East, Advantage West Midlands and the South East of England Develop-ment Agency. In partnership with local authorities, power companies and infrastructure companies over 500 charg-ing points will be installed, and universities will analyse the data. With companies such as Ford, Nissan, Mit-subishi, Mercedes- Benz and BMW Group on board, this represents an important step on the long journey towards mass- market adoption of low- carbon vehicles. Health and ageing People are living longer, which is a cause for celebration and a testimony to healthcare and technology advances during the last 50 years. However the number who will have long- term conditions, and who as they grow old will become frail, is set to increase. At the same time, the number of economically active people who can finance health and social care is falling. Today's care models are unsustainable and this is a major concern for the social care and health services in the UK. Innovation and technology will have to be part of the solution. Any 21st century health and social- care service will have to make greater use of technology, deliver care closer to, and sometimes in, the home and make increas-ing use of a person's capacity to " self- care" by supporting them appropriately. Through the Assisted Living Innovation Platform, the Technology Strategy Board is working with the Depart-ment of Health, the National Health Service, primary care trusts, research councils, local authorities, and with academia, industry and third- sector organisations, to develop technologies and services that will enable individuals to receive support at home. Its work includes encouraging user- centred design of home- based telecare systems, looking at the social and behavioural aspects and the business and economic models for assisted living, and encouraging companies to work on the digital communications, portability and interoperability aspects. The newest innovation platform, established in 2009, is focused on the detection and identification of infectious agents. This is another area where technology solutions hold great promise and where the potential benefits to both society and business are significant. Further developments in this area will be announced soon. The innovation platform concept is relatively new and is still under development, but we are seeing great advantages in the combination of intense focus and flexibility that this approach offers. The Technology Strategy Board is investigating a number of other areas where innovation platforms could have a powerful part to play. Conclusion The challenges that I have mentioned will not go away. Whatever the economic circumstances - and we know that the business climate is not easy at the moment - we persist in seeing them as the triggers for innovative busi-nesses to construct a future for themselves, through the development and application of great ideas. The above is only a snapshot of all we are doing. I invite companies of all sizes and types, as well as researchers and policymakers, to keep abreast of the Technology Strategy Board's challenge- led innovation programmes and look to where you could become involved, as we bring partners and funding together in purposeful, pro-ductive relationships which will make a real difference to the prosperity of the UK as well as to future quality of life. For more information visit: www. innovateuk. org British Innovation challenge- led inovation

INNOVATION UK13 David Lammy MP, Minister of State for Higher Education and Intellectual Property, explains why innovative universities have a vital role to play in ensuring the UK not only survives the current economic climate, but emerges stronger than before Enhancing the economy Innovation has always been at the heart of the Brit-ish economy, helping to ensure our success internation-ally and building us a strong reputation in the global marketplace. It has never been more important, however, than now in the current economic climate, as we look for ideas and strategies to ensure that our economy grows and emerges stronger. For this to happen, we need to continue investing in new ideas and inventions. We need to keep educating and training people, both young and old, to increase our skilled workforce. This is where our universities have a vital role to play. The skills and knowledge gained in a higher- education setting equip people for their long- term careers and ensure the UK's competitiveness in the world economy. There are now more people than ever before in higher education, taking advantage of the high- quality teaching and resources on offer, while working in a free- thinking learning environment: an environment that challenges while it educates. What impresses me about these institutions is their ability to adapt to different conditions and to change quickly to help address emerging problems, such as the economic downturn. This innovation is absolutely invaluable. In response to the recession, 80 institutions took advan-tage of the government's £ 27m Economic Challenge Investment Fund, to provide swift help for individuals and businesses. British Innovation David LAmmy MP, minister of state for higher education and intellectual property