Adam Afriyie
MP for Windsor
Attracting foreign investment

Adam Afriyie (Windsor, Conservative): To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he has taken to encourage more foreign direct investment in UK companies.

Andrea Leadsom (Economic Secretary to the Treasury): In 2013-14 the UK attracted 1,773 foreign direct investment projects, giving a total stock of £1.6 trillion of such investments – more than any other country apart from the USA. During this Parliament the Government has taken action to make the UK a more attractive location to run a business including reducing corporation tax so that it will reach 20% next year – the lowest in the G20 – and investing in skills, science and infrastructure. The Government has also increased resources at UK Trade and Investment including for example establishing private sector-led teams in the Gulf, Central Europe, and South America dedicated to attracting inward investment into the UK.

Helping disabled entrepreneurs

Adam Afriyie (Windsor, Conservative): To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what steps the Government has taken to support disabled people in Windsor constituency who want to start their own business.

Matthew Hancock (Minister of State for Business and Enterprise): We are continuing to work hard to provide the right support to make life easier for everyone who wants to start their own business, including disabled people.

Adam Afriyie MP welcomes British astronaut to Parliament

Major Tim Peake and Adam Afriyie MP

Windsor’s MP, Adam Afriyie, who also chairs the Parliamentary Space Committee (PSC) hosted a parliamentary lunch to welcome British astronaut, Major Tim Peake to Parliament.

Major Tim Peake is the first British astronaut to be selected for a mission with the European Space Agency (ESA). His mission is a journey to the International Space Station aboard a Soyuz rocket and will launch in November 2015.

The lunch was an opportunity to gather members of the PSC, and prominent figures in the British space industry to discuss the future of space research and technology.

Also at the lunch was Jean-Jacques Dordain, Director General of the European Space Agency and Rt. Hon. Greg Clark, the Government minister responsible for space.

Adam Afriyie, Chair of the Parliamentary Space Committee commented:

“I was honoured to host the lunch welcoming Major Tim Peake, Jean-Jacques Dordain and big players in the British space industry to Parliament along with Greg Clark, the Government Minister responsible for space.

“Tim is hopefully the first of many British astronauts to go into space on an ESA mission.

Growth of the big data industry

Adam Afriyie (Windsor, Conservative): To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what steps he has taken to encourage growth of the big data industry in the UK; and if he will make a statement.

Mr Edward Vaizey (Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy): The Government has identified big data as one of the ‘eight great technologies’ that will propel the UK’s future economic growth. Since 2010, the Government has made a series of strategic investments to support the growth of the big data industry in the UK. These include:

- a £159 million investment programme in the UK’s high performance computing and networks infrastructure announced in 2011.

- £189 million investment announced in 2012 to support a programme of big data and energy-efficient computing projects across the UK co-ordinated by the Economic and Social Research Council.

- £10.7 million announced in December 2013 to create a new Higgs Centre for Innovation at the UK Astronomy Technology Centre in Edinburgh that will focus on big data and space technologies.

- £42 million announced in March 2014 to establish a world-leading Alan Turing Institute, which will be established in 2015 to research the analysis and application of big data.

- Investment of over £50 million to establish the Digital Catapult, based in London, which will bring researchers and business together to accelerate new innovative products to market.

On 31 October 2013, the Government also published ‘Seizing the Data Opportunity: a strategy for UK data capability’, which examines the UK’s capability to make best use of all data including big data, public sector held data, research data, and data collected by companies. The strategy was developed in partnership with industry to place the UK at the forefront of extracting knowledge and value from data.

Since the publication of the strategy, the Government has introduced new legislation on copyright exceptions in June 2014 to enable text and data-mining for non-commercial purpose, and has developed new UK Trade & Industry marketing material to attract increased overseas investment and custom to the UK data centre market.

Adam Afriyie welcomes Lunar Mission One as a “visionary project” for space exploration

A new British-led space mission, Lunar Mission One, has been announced today.

The mission plans to reach the South Pole of the moon within 10 years and undertake a variety of space research including on lunar rock dating back 4.5 billion years.

Mr Afriyie, who chairs Parliament’s Space Committee, is hosting a briefing for parliamentarians on the mission today in Parliament.

Adam Afriyie, Chair of the Parliamentary Space Committee, said:

“Today marks another milestone in the UK’s fast-growing space industry. I wish the Lunar Mission One team the utmost success in their mission, which will energise future generations with an enthusiasm for space exploration and research.

“Lunar Mission One is a visionary project that has huge potential. Not only can it keep Britain at the forefront of the global space industry, but it also has huge potential to engage people of all ages in the fascinating world of space technology and innovation.

“The UK space industry has consistently delivered jobs and economic growth and this mission will help raise awareness of the space sector’s huge contribution to GDP, research, materials science, communications, satellite navigation and earth monitoring systems.

“It’s great that Lunar Mission One will encourage people to lift their eyes to the stars once again.

“Lunar Mission One will focus attention on the significant advances in engineering, space flight, biology and education.

“Having met and worked with its founder, David Iron, over the last 5 years, I want to thank the team behind Lunar Mission One who have pushed so hard for this exciting mission to take place.

“Britain has led space research in the past and this pioneering mission can help us to lead advances in the future.”