Business role is critical to secure Government research ambition, says NCUB


The Government must refocus the economy towards more R&D intensive activity and view business as an integral partner of the R&D system, NCUB has said in response to the government’s consultation on the Research and Development (R&D) Roadmap.

Dr Joe Marshall, Chief Executive of the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB), said: “The Government has rightly acknowledged that research and development (R&D) is a key driver of growth. The roadmap is comprehensive and ambitious, but to seize this once in-a-generation-opportunity it is critical that businesses are integral partners in, not just beneficiaries of, the research and innovation system. Creating an innovative economy, as set out in the government’s R&D Roadmap, and maximising the value of the UK’s world-class research base, requires a fundamental refocus of the UK’s economy. 

To achieve this, we need to attract more R&D intensive businesses and investment, as well as encouraging other businesses to become more innovative and R&D focused. Achieving the Government’s target to invest 2.4% of GDP into R&D requires businesses to invest an estimated £18 billion pounds more each year in R&D than they do today. This is a huge target, and to achieve it, we are calling on the Government to view business as an integral part of the R&D system.”

Marshall concluded: “The new R&D roadmap is an exciting, ambitious and timely vision of a better future driven by research and innovation, but there is undoubtedly still more to be done here.  The forthcoming Government R&D plan and Comprehensive Spending Review must take full account of the range of factors that affect the operating environment of businesses, large and small. This includes human, physical and financial capital, regulation, fiscal policy, infrastructure and trade policy. In no uncertain terms, if the UK is to bounce back from this recession, we need to see an increase in innovation from our businesses.”

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