A letter to the next Chancellor of the Exchequer, to be opened on
Dear Mr. Brown/Letwin/AN Other (delete as appropriate):
Here at The Engineer we know that you have a lot on your plate right now. If the general election has produced a surprise, you’re probably still busy moving the furniture into Number 11.
But we hope you will soon be able to turn your attention to our engineering and technology base because, as we are sure you are aware, in this respect the
Just before the election Anne Campbell, the Labour MP for
The Engineer has supported these proposals before, and makes no apology for returning to them at the start of a new term of government.
Gordon Brown’s last budget of the previous term contained plans to compel public agencies to direct at least 2.5 per cent of their external R&D spending to small and medium-sized businesses.
This is to be welcomed, but is only a start. As
Our own civil service seems rather creaky and ad hoc by comparison. We need a properly structured relationship between those developing the
That would give our engineers and technologists the breathing space they need to get their ideas out of the laboratory and refined to a stage that may interest the wider commercial community.
We know that spending taxpayers’ money wisely was a major theme of the election.
We know that if Mr Letwin is reading this, he will already be preparing to take an axe to large swathes of the
But if you are going to create one new body, make it a highly-focused small business R&D unit along US lines. Let it sort the wheat from the chaff, and use
And good luck for the next four years. You’ll need it.