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More information for technological innovation – MPs

Increased funding and information for technology companies is needed to boost research in the UK, a new report from the select committee on science and technology states.

‘Bridging the valley of death: improving the commercialisation of research’ calls for Government to ensure sufficient capital is available for technology companies and recommends restoring R&D Scoreboard and the Bank of England monitoring on the availability of finance to SMEs to improve information.

The Technology Strategy Board (TSB) should produce a review of regulatory burdens on technology innovation and a roadmap of how regulator reform can be used to drive innovation, it adds.

The report stated: “The Government's ambition to increase innovation activity will depend on its willingness to engage and speculate in that activity. A key feature of that speculation should be leading the way by investing in small technology businesses through its procurement policy.

“The Government will need to upskill its staff on how to better exploit government procurement for this purpose; better utilise the NHS in driving biomedical advances and ensure centres of excellence, such as the Crick Institute, proactively engage with business.

“We also recommend a minister in HM Treasury be given responsibility for the delivery of procurement-driven benefits identified by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.”

Iain Gray, the chief executive of the Technology Strategy Board, responded: “We are pleased the Select Committee recognises the vital work the TSB is doing in promoting the commercialisation of research in the UK. The Committee acknowledges the need for a single innovation agency concentrating effort and ensuring coherence and consistency within the system.”

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