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London aims to position itself as a global centre for science and technology firms with a new investment scheme.

The new £3m gateway2investment (g2i) scheme aims to accelerate the growth of technology firms in the Capital and encourage more to relocate or start up.

The programme is backed by mayor Ken Livingstone's London Development Agency (LDA) and a consortium of companies, led by accountants Grant Thornton, that have pooled their resources to help start-up technology firms secure investment in the £50,000 to £2m bracket.

The group hope the scheme will build stronger links between London's investor community and technology entrepreneurs.

It predicts that the IT, biotechnology, electronics, telecommunications, energy, new materials, engineering and manufacturing sectors will be among its main beneficiaries.

"Science and technology is generally underfunded across much of the European Union and London has a great opportunity to produce the lion's share of new growth in this sector, provided we make the necessary investment now," said Manny Lewis, chief executive of the LDA.

"So it is timely that g2i is available to provide that extra boost needed to help our technology industries succeed."

Entrepreneurs taking part in the free programme will attend one-on-one diagnostic meetings, action planning reviews and will receive business advice tailored to their market.

Participants will also receive feedback from investors and access to an online 'virtual investor'.

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