Why business needs publicly funded research

Posted on October 14, 2010 by

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Public investment in research supports UK businesses. Research Councils UK have published a new report – Research for our Future: UK business success through public investment in research which tries to get a handle on this impact; looking in a little more detail at how this happens, why it works and how we can build on this.

It emphasises the value of research and the value of skilled people – both generated by the UK – to companies growing and investing in the UK. It references lots of the facts and figures that we’re already using in our conversations about science:

research is a key driver of economic growth

publicly funded research raises the productivity of R&D in the private sector

The current high quality of UK research makes the country attractive for inward investment by international business and industry

And includes some interesting new numbers:

Estimates of the impact of Research Council spending on the UK’s national output suggest that a cut of £1 billion in annual spending would lead to a fall in GDP of £10 billion

And it’s packed full of case studies and examples of where business and public funding are working together to deliver results. Areas highlighted include regenerative medicine;

…an industry that is currently worth more than £500 milion per annum, and estimated to rise to around £1 billion by 2013.

It looks at how we can design policy to improve interactions between academics and industry, and finishes with some strong arguments why public investment in research is necessary.

Posted in: Policy