The British government's Department for Innovation, Universities & Skills (DIUS) is making about $200 million available to bankroll industry-academic R&D projects in new technology. The secretary of state for DIUS, John Denham, says his department's Technology Strategy Board has opened a funding competition in eight areas. The contest's just-launched first phase covers R&D projects in the areas of materials for energy, which might be used in production of wind turbines or tidal barrage systems; high-value manufacturing; and cell therapy. The second phase, beginning Dec. 19, will cover low-carbon energy; advanced lighting, lasers and displays; and health technologies. The final phase, opening on Jan. 30, 2008, will invite R&D proposals in creative industries and data gathering in complex environments. The new funding is the latest in a series of investments made by the Technology Strategy Board since the collaborative program began in 2004. To date, the program has supported more than 700 projects across 40 technology areas, with a combined business and government investment of more than $2 billion.