Investing in innovation is now more important than ever

07 Oct 2008

Businesses that continue to invest in innovation will be better equipped to face the future
Technology Strategy Board announces major new investment in research and development programmes

The need to invest in innovation today to ensure tomorrow's economic prosperity will be the key message from the Technology Strategy Board at its annual conference today.

Iain Gray, the Technology Strategy Board's Chief Executive, will say that while business may be tempted during times of economic difficult to put investment in technology on hold, this would be a "terrible mistake" for the future prospects of our businesses and the UK economy.

"We will come out of this downturn and when we do it will be the businesses which held their nerve and continued to invest that will come out of the downturn first.  I believe it is those businesses that will emerge stronger and better equipped to face the challenges of the future" Iain Gray will say.

Iain Gray will also say that some of the world's greatest innovations have come out of adversity and that finding solutions to the challenges facing society today - such as the cost and availability of energy, climate change and threats to the environment - provide innovative British companies with enormous opportunities

Innovate08 - The Business of Shaping Our World will feature a keynote address by John Denham, Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, who will emphasise that innovation is essential to the UK's future prosperity and to our quality of life.  John Denham will also speak about the change in attitude towards innovation in Government and the importance of increasing the country's appetite and enthusiasm for technology and innovation.

A number of major new Technology Strategy Board investment programmes and initiatives will be launched at Innovate08, including:

  • A 5-year programme that will integrate industry and academic research and development activity to speed up the introduction of low carbon road vehicles.  This will see an initial public sector investment of £100 million, which is likely to be matched by at least £100 million from the private sector.
  • The research and development of new technology to help with the rapid and accurate diagnosis of infectious diseases.  This will be a 5-year government-funded programme with investment of up to £55 million. 
  • The opening of the Technology Strategy Board's Autumn 2008 collaborative research and development competitions, which will see investment by the Board of £55 million in innovative R&D in five key areas - photonics, high value manufacturing, energy generation and supply, advanced materials and the creative industries.
  • The pilot of a reformed Small Business Research Initiative, run by the Ministry of Defence and Department of Health.  SBRI aims to bring public sector procurers together with potential suppliers of innovative technologies from small and medium sized companies.
  • The launch of Technology Strategy Board strategy papers in three key technology areas - Electronics, Photonics & Electrical Systems, Advanced Materials and Information and Communication Technology.  These will detail how the Technology Strategy Board will stimulate innovation in new technology in these areas over the next three years.
  • The publication of interim strategic assessments in Emerging Technologies and Industries, and in Creative Industries to share our reading of the landscape, and stimulate discussion on how best to move these important areas forward?

Download pdf of full press release including notes for editors

This video requires flash version 7 or higher to play.

Last updated on Thursday 09 October 2008 at 13:43

More like this

Copyright © 2013