Select Committee on Science and Technology Sixth Report



  1.  We welcome the work that NESTA has done so far. It has set up three distinct programmes which are now fully in operation. Awardees have filed 30 new patents and registered 25 new companies. The Invention and Innovation programme has produced its first return. Although 'risk-taking' is not easy to measure, the projects undertaken by NESTA are varied and we await the outcome of some with interest, but we remain to be convinced that NESTA is making the most of its less than expected income. We are not impressed by NESTA's lackadaisical attitude to figures. We have some concerns about the lack of open competition in the system for nominating Fellows. We call for NESTA to put more substance than spin into its reports to the public. We hope to see evidence of improvement in these areas over the next year and expect that the quinquennial review will provide assistance in helping NESTA improve its efficiency. NESTA needs to demonstrate greater control over its income as a whole before it can claim to merit a substantial increase in its endowment; we hope that this will be achieved as NESTA moves out of its initial period of development. NESTA may well be able to claim there is a need to expand its programmes once it has raised its profile and seen concrete outcomes from its first projects.


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