LONDON - The U.K. government has launched a four-year program worth #13 million (US$21.3 million) to encourage the take-up of biotechnology applications by industry and help the U.K. biotechnology industry exploit developing markets in the U.K. and overseas.

Industry Minister John Battle said the program, called Bio-wise, "aims to sustain and enhance U.K. competitiveness in biotechnology and ensure that its benefits, economic and environmental, are realized through wide spread implementation across industry."

Bio-wise will build on the previous program, Biotech nology Means Business, and will include grants to help demonstrate the use of biotechnology in industry, focusing on technical credibility and cost benefits. - Nuala Moran