During earlier economic downturns, businesses which invested in research and development and built on new ideas were the ones to emerge strongest and most competitive
The UK Government is committed to encouraging business innovation and helping businesses to invest in research and development (R&D). This government investment and positive R&D climate make Britain one of the most attractive places in the world for businesses to undertake and benefit from R&D. This draws in further investment and the best talent from around the world.
Support for business R&D and innovation
The biggest government funding mechanism for business R&D is R&D tax credits which allow tax deductions based on qualifying R&D spend.
The Technology Strategy Board supports business, industry, research and learning organisations to collaborate on innovative projects through grants for Collaborative R&D projects and via Knowledge Transfer Networks and Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (see Benefiting from Research). Working with the Regional Development Agencies and the Research Councils, the Technology Strategy Board will jointly invest over £1 billion over the next three years ending March 2011 on developing new technologies, products and processes.
Investing in research
Through partners such as the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and the seven Research Councils, DIUS is putting more money than ever into research. DIUS also specifically funds projects to join up the work of businesses, researchers and government, so as to maximise the value of the research and its usage.
For example, the Economic and Social Research Council gives free access to research, from optimising organisational performance to predicting consumer trends, as well as access to expert knowledge through the ESRC Business Placements Fellows Scheme.
HEFCE is funding a wide range of innovative projects between HE Institutions and local and national businesses.
Promoting good design
The Design Council helps business use innovative design in everything from office layout to packaging, to improve their productivity and competitiveness.