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Innovation and Research Strategy for Growth

The Coalition Government published its Innovation and Research Strategy for Growth and an associated Economics paper on 8 December 2011. The strategy centres on supporting business R&D in areas in which the UK excels, within the context of developing the wider UK innovation eco-system including universities and other organisations. The Economics paper provides supporting evidence for this policy.

Our Universities, Research Councils and businesses are national assets that form the foundation of the UK’s future competitiveness. However, if we are to realise our vision for the UK’s future we need to strengthen our innovative capability and encourage further investment in innovation.

The Government has already made clear its commitment to the UK knowledge base by maintaining the annual £4.6 billion budget for science and research programmes with £150 million each year supporting university-business interaction. Going further we intend to maximise the impact of our research base on economic growth and have committed an additional £495 million to Science Capital Investment projects since January 2011.

The Government is improving incentives for companies to innovate especially SMEs. In addition to our successful changes to the SME R&D Tax Credit we will invest an additional £75 million to support small business innovation including additional funding for Smart, grants that support SME research and development. We will implement a new innovation voucher programme enabling small businesses to engage with universities and the wider knowledge base. We will invest more in the Small Business Research Initiative helping more small businesses to win government contracts for their innovative products and services.

The Government is putting innovation and research at the heart of its growth agenda through greater investment and increased collaboration ensuring that the UK has a promising future. This is our Innovation and Research Strategy for Growth (PDF, 1.1 Mb) .

Economics Paper

Underpinning the BIS Innovation Strategy is an economic analysis that sets out the conceptual and empirical thinking behind the Strategy. It rests on three bodies of work and evidence: recent results from innovation economics, recent policy-related studies, and new innovation data. Both theory and evidence show that innovation is the central source of economic growth. But innovation is changing its scope and forms: across borders, across institutions, and in terms of its methods and processes. It is necessary to look at innovation as a system, in which different actors (universities, infrastructures, companies, and the public sector) collaborate directly and indirectly. Four primary policy challenges are identified: the need to facilitate knowledge flows, the need to maintain a high-grade knowledge infrastructure, the need to support business investment in conditions of uncertainty, and the need to build an innovating public sector. View the Economics paper: innovation and research strategy for growth (PDF, 2.4 Mb) .

Working with Devolved Administrations

Components of both innovation and research policy are devolved, but we will work closely with partner organisations in the Devolved Administrations to raise awareness, build capacity and ensure coherence. We will:

  • help build the innovative capacity of businesses throughout the UK;
  • increase take-up of the innovation advice and support services being funded and delivered through the various bodies and agencies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland; and 
  • ensure coherence between the initiatives and investments being carried out in each of the Devolved Administrations with UK programmes and priorities, so as to maximise their reach and impact.


Logo / Flag for Scottish Government                                                

Find out more about The Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and the innovation support available to businesses in Scotland.



Logo for Welsh Government

Find out more about the Welsh Government, and the innovation support available to businesses in Wales.


Logo for Northern Ireland Executive

Find out more about our work with Invest NI and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, and the innovation support available to businesses in Northern Ireland.