Public spending cuts in the UK are causing companies providing educational audio visual equipment to turn their attention to markets on the Continent.

Schools in the UK have increasingly been installing items like projectors and interactive whiteboards to help with education techniques. With strict budget cuts looming, however, the providers of this equipment are trying to infiltrate the Spanish, French and German markets.

The harshest blow was dealt as a result of the new government's dissolving of the schools procurement agency, Becta, which had been sourcing projectors, screens, whiteboards and other technology during the tenure of the Labour government. Schemes that it inspired in Europe, however, such as France's ENR and RED.es in Spain have are still prosperous and have ignited a market that is valued at half a billion dollars this year alone.

Jon Sidwick, director of classroom technology specialists, Maverick Europe, said the Continental countries were offering greater scope for them, not just in terms of budget but in diversifying potential as well.

"Once a projector is installed, resellers have a start point to add white boards, a visualiser and now, a learning response system," said Sidwick.

"Local authorities in Europe are being given license to invest in anything from a PC and printer to an interactive solution and/or learning response system. Classroom technology will, therefore, be a large part of the AV and IT industry in the future."