When it comes to innovation, the UK is mediocre. And don’t take my word for it. Listen to Tera Allas, the former Director General, Strategic Advice, Science & Innovation, BIS:

“The UK’s overall innovation performance is worryingly mediocre. Some of this can be attributed to the private sector. However the public sector has a critical role in enabling, encouraging and actively leading innovation. The UK government could do a lot better in this respect by being bolder, more coherent, more strategic and more dynamic…. To genuinely improve economic prospects, a fundamental  boshift in governments’ approach to innovation is required.”

Don’t believe her? Then check out these facts:

1. The UK government has a £7.3bn innovation gap. The UK Government spends 0.5% of GDP less on innovation than the US, Germany, Finland, France, …. We’ve got to close that gap if we’re going to growth in the future.

2. UK is 14th in OECD & G20 for tax support for innovation. We simply don’t provide as much support.

3. The UK gov’t spends 3-4x as much on Science, as on Industrial Innovation. If we’re going to get clever ideas to the market, then we’ve got to support their full development.

4. UK R&D tax credits provide less than a third of what the EU allows. Enough is said on what the EU stops us from doing, why not take advantage of what it allows us to do?

5. The UK is 24th in the OECD for SME investment in R&D (as a % of business expenditure on R&D). It’s no surprise that if Government supports less innovation, business spends less on innovation.

What do we do about it?

Check out the ADS ‘Invest in Growth’ Manifesto: Invest in Industrial Innovation