MPs highlight the importance of science and innovation

The House of Commons cross-party committee of MPs specialising in science and technology have published a report which reinforces ADS’ call for the next government to invest in industrial innovation.

This is a key priority at the heart of the ADS ‘Invest in Growth’ Manifesto published ahead of the 2015 General Election.

We are calling on the next government to invest in industrial innovation to strengthen our competitive advantage in high-tech sectors like aerospace, defence, security and space, which are vital to the UK’s future as a high-tech, high-skill, high-wage economy.

As we highlight in our manifesto, even small amounts of public investment can stimulate significant private investment in innovation. The S&T Committee points this out too – quoting the Science Minister Greg Clark who says that public funding brings, attracts and crowds in, additional private funding.

To enhance the UK’s ability to design, develop and commercialise industrial innovation in the UK we would like to see the next government double funding for innovation by 2020, through boosting investment for Innovate UK and raising R&D tax credits.

The Committee’s report recognises Innovate UK’s role in contributing to scientific and technological innovations which will strengthen and grow the country’s science base. Increasing their funding will strengthen our global competitiveness, generate well-paid jobs and help develop high-tech exports.

The MPs also make a number of recommendations on how the next government can increase business for SMEs – including measuring the impact of Catapult centres on increasing the finance available to SMEs and ensuring they have equal access to public sector contracts.

Supporting SMEs and Midcaps to invest and grow is another of the key asks of our manifesto. They are agile innovators and exporters in their own right and supporting them will further strengthen our global competitiveness.

Finally, just as important will be providing longer-term certainty, focusing funding and creating the conditions for business to invest in the UK with confidence.

Alongside our manifesto ADS published a policy paper on ‘Investing in Industrial Innovation’. You can read a copy online here.