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A scientist is calling on the government to concentrate on encouraging public sector bodies to purchase technology from small businesses rather than handing out grants and loans.

A scientist is calling on the government to concentrate on encouraging public sector bodies to purchase technology from small businesses rather than handing out grants and loans.

Dr Richard Zybert, a nuclear physicist and managing director of Zybert Computing, tells the Birmingham Post if local councils and government departments bought their IT solutions from British businesses it would help them in the competition against software giants like IBM and Microsoft.

Help is needed because when offered the choice between a multinational firm and a smaller UK-based company, local councils will go for the larger business so they can sue them if anything were to go wrong, the former University of Birmingham academic explains.

Zybert says while grants and loans are useful, they are not a long-term solution.

Instead of offering such handouts, he is asking the government to offer a contract guarantee scheme which would reassure departments that if small firms failed to deliver on contracts, the cost would be covered.

The government has opened a website - supply2.gov.uk - which is intended to match more SMEs with government contract work.

See also: Small business support services need work

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