Innovation sits at the heart of our country’s economic recovery and future growth:

The government innovation strategy  marks an important step in ensuring innovation plays its full part in addressing the biggest challenges facing society such as decarbonisation, levelling up and health.

Key CBI takeaways for business included;

  • A recommitment to increase annual public investment on R&D to a record £22 billion – Lacking a firm timetable for delivery.
  • The introduction of a new online finance and innovation hub between Innovate UK and the British Business Bank (BBB). Essential to improve navigation of the innovation ecosystem
  • A new Innovation Missions programme to be defined by the National Science and Technology Council. A welcome focus on health and decarbonisation
  • Seven new technology families which will act as priority areas for UK growth. Some gaps e.g. telecoms and need clarity re support
  • The establishment of a UKRI-wide Commercialisation Funding Framework to simplify support, minimise bureaucracy and embed best practice. The development of a digital gateway to support – link with the Hub.
  • The creation of a new Business Innovation Forum to drive implementation of the strategy. Adoption and diffusion of cutting-edge innovation – commercialisation key
  • The introduction of new High Potential Individual and Scale-up route
  • An independent review, led by Sir Paul Nurse, to look across the landscape of UK organisations undertaking all forms of research, development and innovation
  • A consultation on regulation to ensure ‘the UK is well-placed to extract the best value from innovation’

Next steps

While this strategy marks a positive step, further engagement with industry will be crucial to shape its implementation.

The eagerly anticipated place-based strategy and Levelling up White Paper will also provide valuable opportunities to create ‘poles’ for regional innovation capabilities.

There are important levers included in this strategy that collectively need to be aligned if we are to deliver success, from regulation and procurement to long term strategic direction and intent