Input to call for ideas for National Innovation Plan

01 June 2016

Our leading universities are a crucial part of the nation’s knowledge base. The critical mass of excellent research at Russell Group universities generates huge impact, links the UK into global knowledge networks, creates an environment for new ideas to be generated and developed, attracts investment and ensures scientific and technological breakthroughs essential to innovation can be taken forward in the UK. This in turn underpins long-term economic growth and both social and economic wellbeing. It is therefore important that universities should be integral to the formulation of the Government’s National Innovation Plan.

A number of key factors are needed to create the right environment for new ideas to develop and grow into commercial success. These include: sustained long-term public investment in research and innovation; a range of effective public support mechanisms to support university-business collaboration; a risk-based regulatory system; and a tax system which incentivises investment in innovation.

Current public support mechanisms for innovation could be more effective in addressing the barriers to the creation of innovation. There remain significant gaps in the UK’s funding pipeline to take a research idea through to a final product or service, and existing support mechanisms could be better targeted to support the UK’s leading universities in translating world-class research and knowledge into economic benefit to the UK.

The UK needs to create the right environment for new ideas to develop and grow into commercial success. Current VAT legislation and guidance is hindering collaboration between universities and businesses, and financial and tax support for early stage ventures should be enhanced.

This document provides a series of policy options that would help to drive research commercialisation and the diffusion of knowledge into the economy by capitalising on the innovative potential within the UK’s leading universities.

Input to call for ideas for National Innovation Plan

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