techUK Urges Government To Give R&D Certainty

  • techUK techUK
    Wednesday08Nov 2017
    News

    Head of Public Affairs, Tom Morrison-Bell, discusses the importance of R&D for UK tech at influential Science and Technology Committee.

techUK’s Head of Public Affairs, Tom Morrison-Bell, told the influential Science & Technology Committee in the Commons that the Government should use the forthcoming Budget to set out a roadmap for meeting its target to spend 2.4% of GDP on R&D.
TMBSciTech

The Committee, chaired by former minister Rt Hon Norman Lamb MP, is holding an inquiry into the how the science budget should work with the Government’s broader industrial strategy to ensure the UK continues to be a world leader in both private and public sector R&D. Speaking alongside a distinguished panel, including Cambridge University’s Prof David Connell, and Innovate UK CEO, Dr Ruth McKernan, Tom stressed that the UK must do all it can to give some certainty to businesses amid the current uncertainty arising from Brexit. Showing leadership by setting out to UK tech how the Government intends to meet its 2.4% target by 2027 is one way of achieving this.

The attractiveness of the UK’s R&D regime has been a key factor in both the development of world-leading UK tech companies, such as ARM, and securing significant investment from the world’s most innovative tech companies. With the Brexit clock counting down, Tom also stressed the need for the UK to remain as internationally competitive as possible, especially given the relatively footloose nature of many digital and tech firms.

Other issues Tom stressed to the Committee included:

Boosting digitisation across UK businesses

Digitisation in one of the few short-term levers the Government has for tackling the UK’s chronic productivity problem. According to the European Commission’s 2017 European Digital Progress Report, the UK is ranked 15 out of 28 EU member states when it comes to of integration of digital technology across businesses. As such, Tom urged the Treasury to consider demand-side initiatives to help with the uptake of productivity enhancing digital technologies for businesses in all sectors.

Tech companies benefit from the range of R&D initiatives

From R&D tax credits, to the Enterprise Investment Scheme, tech companies of all sizes benefit from the UK’s R&D regime. This is a critical component of the UK’s international competitiveness and must be retained, if not enhanced. The UK benefits substantially from the sorts of measures which encourage companies to do their cutting-edge innovation here.

The importance of international capital to UK tech

Around a third of venture capital invested in UK startups between 2009-2015 came from the European Investment Fund. Tom highlighted how important it is that the UK remains a part of the EIF, even though it will be required to leave the European Investment Bank.

This work is part of techUK’s broader work on the Government’s Industrial Strategy.


FROM SOCIAL MEDIA

Are you a #govtech company with an innovative idea for tackling road traffic congestion? @gdsteam are looking for o… https://t.co/ZeUm7uEc2R
techUK would love for you to attend our Accelerating CAV Uptake on our Roads event in Oxford on 4 September to exam… https://t.co/WQuCVuTQbg
We are delighted to have @ICENorthWest and @the_brc as industry partners of #Supercharging18 You won't want to miss… https://t.co/lL1Z8HcKIy
Official media partners at #techUKSmarterState are @CSWnews and @PublicTech, with @trendallicious speaking! Don’t m… https://t.co/6AwC9MHWWs
This year @techUK will be hosting a panel at the #WTOPublicForum on how tech is changing how the world trades as we… https://t.co/S9dizbi8mI
Earlier this month @sageuk published its position paper, Building a Competitive, Ethical AI Economy. Check out the… https://t.co/6cfEjmUW8w
Have a read of this article in @psenews by @GeorginaMarath, programme manager for #localgov @techUK, where she make… https://t.co/VU1TdFsh7B