UK urged to innovate

Lord Sainsbury today published his review of the government’s science and innovation policies, urging the UK to develop its ‘knowledge economy’ as the best strategy for effective competition in a global economy.


Lord Sainsbury today published his review of the government’s science and innovation policies and urged the UK to develop its ‘knowledge economy’ as the best strategy for effective competition in a global economy.



Review recommendations include a new leadership role for the Technology Strategy Board (TSB); a major campaign to enhance the teaching of science and technology; and increasing the focus of regional development agencies (RDA) on science and innovation by encouraging them to put additional resources into TSB programmes, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, and high-technology clusters around world-class research universities.



The review has been widely welcomed by academics and industry organisations alike.



‘This is an excellent package of recommendations,’ said Dr Mark Walport, Director of the Wellcome Trust. ‘Proposals in three areas are particularly welcome. The first is the recognition that basic research is the bedrock of innovation and that government should continue to expand the budget for basic research. Second is the support for translation of discovery into application by strengthening the role of the Technology Strategy Board. Third, the future of UK society and the UK economy depends on the education of our children.’


Dr Graham Spittle, chairman of the Technology Strategy Board, added: ‘The review positions the Technology Strategy Board at the centre of the government’s support for technology and innovation in the UK. This will provide us with additional significant opportunities to drive forward innovation in the UK and a leadership role to ensure greater co-ordination of publicly funded technology and innovation activities, for the benefit of UK business and society.’



Commenting on the government’s decision to allocate additional funding to the Technology Strategy Board, which was announced at the same time as the review’s publication, Dr Spittle said, ‘This is excellent news as it provides additional capability for us to build on the work that has already been started in the UK’.



The TSB recently announced plans to invest £42m to support 75 new R&D projects being undertaken by UK-based companies, including a project to develop long-distance 3D face recognition equipment; and one to create a self-powered wireless vision system for security and road monitoring.


Full details of Lord Sainsbury’s review can be found here