The Science and Technology Committee have warned that the Government has no coherent strategy to support the commercialistion of technology innovation in the UK.
Committee Chair Andrew Miller MP, said:
“The UK’s university and science sector is a global success, but the challenge for Government is how that world class academic research can be translated into commercial activity”
There exists the concept of a ‘valley of death’ that prevents the progress of science from the laboratory bench to the point where it provides the basis of a commercially successful business or product. The future success of the UK economy has been linked to the success of translating a world class science base to generate new businesses with the consequent generation of UK jobs and wealth.
Despite there being innovation schemes such as KTPs and SMART awards – SMEs are still being let down by a lack of access to financial support. Government grant funding is often highly bureaucratic to apply for and only enough to get an ‘idea off the ground’.
The report concludes that there is a need for a clear vision from the Government to provide businesses confidence to make R&D investments. Without a definite commitment from Government about which sectors it intends to fund, business is more reticent about making its own financial commitment. A clear strategy for the future should aid the higher levels of business related research and development from businesses in the UK.
For more information, please visit the report via the links below:
Keen to find out more on the opportunities available for R&D? Then do not miss this event:
‘Starting Small, Thinking Big: Entry-Level funded R&D opportunities in Electronic Systems’
The University of West England on Wednesday 10th April.
The purpose of this event is to inform organisations of the type of opportunity that is available from the Technology Strategy Board, through funding programmes such as:
SMART and KTPs.
In particular, detailed information will be given on the current
KTP Call opportunity in Resilient Energy.
Used properly, publicly funded R&D can be a valuable way for companies to develop products, ideas and people. Successful projects and programmes in electronic systems are often built from small, carefully planned beginnings.
To register for the event, and to find out further information please click here
The EU’s proposed Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation will run from 2014-2020, replacing FP7. Over the coming months, the EC is preparing the proposals for the Programme and as part of this, holding stakeholder workshops on the proposed ‘societal challenges’ of Horizon 2020. The workshops took place in order to gather input from more than 100 stakeholders on what they would like from the next Transport programme; the first meeting was for stakeholders from all sectors including industry and academia and the second event was for national representatives, in order to get the view of Member States. Delegates were happy with Transport having its own ‘societal challenge’, but recognition is needed that it still contributes to excellence in the science base and to innovation and competitiveness. The next Programme should create effective transfer paths from research to industry, and act as an ‘integrator’, enabling technological development in other fields like ICT, energy and materials. Stakeholders agreed with the proposal of having the transport challenge built around ‘solution paths’: ‘Green transport’; ‘Integrated transport’; and ‘Competitive transport’. Delegates were also happy with the challenge focusing more on ‘research for industry’ and on electric vehicles but also stressed that the next Programme should still keep options open for other technological developments like hydrogen and fuel cells.