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3% target for R&D as % of GDP
There have recently been calls for the UK to spend 3% of GDP on R&D (Government & Business). This has been tried before in 2002 and failed so why does anyone think this target would stimulate economic growth?
Click here to see a fuller article on why I think this is a poor measure of innovation
Presentation at the Aerospace Technology Institute
I was invited by the ATI to talk about how innovation could impact the future growth of the Aerospece sector.
Click here to see a synopsis of my presentation
Input to Government enquiry into Industrial Strategy
The Prime Ministers lead in wanting a UK Industrial Strategy is a really positive step forward. On behalf of the R&D Society, my colleague Uday Phadke and I have prepared a submission for the Select Committee enquiry on the new UK Industrial Strategy
Click here to see the full submission
Bid for ARM Holdings
The premium on the pre-bid share price of SoftBank’s bid for Arm Holdings looks attractive at first glance but shareholders may be missing a greater prize.
Click here to see my blog on this.
The future of the UK Innovation Agency
The proposal to integrate Innovate UK into UKRI is deeply flawed.
Click here to see why I think this...
Round table discussion on UK innovation policy
In April, the R&D Society organisaed a round table discussion on future Innovation policy. Here is the scene setter paper I presented to get the discussion started.
Click here to see my outline
Fuzzy logic of Wilson review
The Wilson report on University-Business collaboration is fundamentally flawed. The report offers up 30 recommendations plus 24 so-called “study recommendations”. Many of the statements in the report seem to be broad statements based on perception not fact, offering little by way of clear policy recommendations. What a wasted opportunity – see my full article for why I think this..
Click here to see our full review
Alliance innovation survey
Allianz Insurance has recently reported on a survey they conducted with 500 UK CEOs. The good news is that innovation is seen as a key factor in business success the vast majority of UK business leaders. However, while recognizing that innovation pays off and improves performance, the challenging economic climate means that innovation is not immune from cutbacks. Nearly a quarter of the CEOs reported that the recession has impacted their innovation programmes with the research suggesting that over the past year, innovation spend has been reduced with this downward trend set to continue over the next few years. It’s been our experience that the recession presents a great opportunity to outperform hesitant competitors with new creative ideas that have the potential to change the game. If you would like to know more please see full article on this or call for a chat.
Click here to see our full review
R&D tax credits
The Government has just announced a review of the R&D tax credit scheme. This scheme needs a substantial overhaul as it no longer meets the innovation needs of the UK. Here is my input to the consultation process.
Click here to read my input
Technology Innovation Centres
In October, David Cameron announced £200million funding over four years for Technology Innovation Centres based on the Hauser Report. No details have yet been published but if we must do this let's build on what we have - not start something new.
Click here to see my recommendations
The Hauser Report
Two recent reports recommend the government acts to establish technology centres for exploiting UK scientific research. The Hauser report focuses simply on technology innovation centres (TICs); but in Dyson's report they are one facet of a more wide-ranging consideration. How will these recommendations help UK companies innovate and bring new products to market?
Click here to read full article
Drayson to focus researching
At a recent meeting of the Foundation for Science & Technology, Lord Drayson proposed that research should be focused on areas that had the potential for commercial exploitation. This seems to me to show an appalling lack of understanding of the difference between scientific research and commercial exploitation of new ideas (innovation). My recent article in Research Fortnight (18 February 2009) explains why I think he has got it wrong and what Government should be doing to help Business.
To see the full article click here.
Government changes
Let’s hope that the new Secretary of State for Business can bring some sense to what has become a diffused and ragged Science & Innovation policy that is neither helping Research nor Business. I expand on this in a fuller article which first appeared in the Research Fortnight magazine on 8 October 2008.
To see the full article click here.
UK R&D tax credits
What possible basis is there for the recent Treasury suggestion that R&D tax credit for SMEs will increase by £80million pa? In fact if you look at the actual support claimed by SMEs it has fallen from £210 million in 2002-03 to £180million in 2005-06 (the latest published figures). By contrast, the amount claimed by large companies has risen from £180 million in 2002-03 to £420 million in 2005-06. Large companies are obviously getting better at claiming the tax credit because during this time actual company spend on R&D did not increase at all. A high profile debate is now required to quickly determine the most effective way for government to support business growth in the UK, particularly small innovative companies. I hope that the major industry organisations—the CBI, IoD, EEF, TUC, BCC—will put this issue high on their agendas.
To view the full commentary click here
Innovation Nation white paper.
Three cheers for the new White Paper on innovation, Innovation Nation, published on 13 March by the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) —because at the very least it increases pressure on government to do more on innovation policy. The paper does cover a wide range of important issues and, for the most part, the direction outlined looks right. Having said that, however, the paper lacks detail, is very light on tangible actions, falls short on a pace-setting agenda and does not yet demonstrate that DIUS really understands how business operates. I expand on this in a fuller article which first appeared in the Research Fortnight magazine on 19 March 2008.
To see the full article click here.
Back to basics for the Technology Strategy Board
The old DTI Technology Strategy Board has been revamped and relaunched as an 'arms length' agency reporting to the new DIUS department. In my view the new TSB lacks a clear strategy, is underfunded and too far removed from innovation policy. This article traces the history of the TSB and makes some suggestions going forward. The article first appeared in the Research Fortnight magazine on 10 October 2007.
To see the full article click here.
New broom sweeps innovation into a corner
What will be the impact on the UK’s science and innovation of the government changes that the new prime minister announced last week? We are, of course, lacking substantive details on these announcements but already some critical questions are emerging. There are real concerns that government policy on innovation will end up in a cul-de-sac. This article first appeared in the Research Fortnight magazine on 4 July 2007.
To see the full article click here.
Comments on HM Treasury Science & Innovation strategy
With the Spring 2006 budget, the Treasury published a consultation on their 10-year Science & Innovation Investment Strategy: next steps. The strategy remains narrowly focussed on scientific R&D expenditures and university spinouts without looking at the many other ways that companies can innovate to create wealth. David Hughes, in his response to the consultation, says, ‘The Investment strategy is too narrowly focussed on R&D and 2.5% ‘Lisbon’ target. In the UK over 70% of wealth is created by low intensity R&D companies. Low R&D intensity does not mean low wealth creation. For example the high value adding sectors eg Financial Services and Oil & Gas Industries are technology users not technology generators and have low R&D intensity.’
To see David Hughes’ full response click here.
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