Building better business health

Building better business health: what can we learn from public health campaigns? The continuing productivity gap between the UK and its international competitors has focussed attention on the competitiveness of UK firms. So how can we boost the health and vitality of UK businesses? Or, more accurately, how can we encourage businesses themselves to take… Read more

Talking trademarks

We are all familiar with trademarks from “Google” to ‘McDonald’s”. But who are the UK’s most active trademarkers? And, how is the profile of trademarking changing in the UK? Some data recently published by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) on domestic trademark applications in the UK suggests some of the answers. Before looking at the… Read more

SMEs are losing out in the innovation race

SMEs are losing ground to larger UK firms in terms of innovation. This is one of the key messages in new innovation data recently published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The data taken from the UK Innovation Survey (UKIS 2017) provides the first robust benchmark for levels of business innovation… Read more

Aiming high on R&D – Is the UK’s 2.4 % target achievable?

ONS figures published this week suggest that the UK spent 1.67 per cent of GDP on R&D in 2016 ranking the UK 11th in the EU. These latest figures put the UK well adrift of the ambitious target of 2.4 per cent R&D spending spelt out in the Industrial Strategy. So, is the 2.4 per… Read more

How to skin a (R&D) cat.

Innovate UK recently launched a new loan scheme to support research and innovation in UK firms. This scheme – originally conceived in the austerity years – aims to provide an alternative way of supporting innovation alongside the UK’s innovation grants and tax credits. The new loans also suggest a subtle change in emphasis in UK… Read more

Preparing for Brexit at the local level

In the aftermath of the EU referendum, there is an even greater focus on the performance of the private sector and its ability to provide jobs and wealth creating opportunities across all parts of the UK – especially at the local level – as the UK prepares for Brexit. ERC Deputy Director Mark Hart author… Read more

Innovation policy: Driving equity or driving inequality?

Innovation policy: Driving equity or driving inequality? The need to boost levels of innovation in the UK is at the heart of the recent Green Paper on Industrial Strategy, and few would argue with the general proposition that innovation is good for growth. New products, new services and new ways of doing business help firms… Read more

Hammond’s Productivity Plan – what’s in it for small firms?

When Philip Hammond, the Chancellor, stood up to present the Autumn Statement he had a problem and a plan. The problem combined the hit on growth from Brexit, stubbornly low productivity and stretched public finances. The plan focuses on investing to boost productivity. So where do small firms fit in? Well – unlike many recent… Read more