‘Innovation Nation’ opens new opportunities for enterprise

2 04 2008

The White Paper on innovation published last month outlines how Government can help set up the right conditions for innovation to thrive in the UK economy and the partnerships that need to occur to raise levels of enterprise. UK higher and further education features prominently in this strategy for the future of UK innovation. 

The vision of Innovation Nation encompasses every entity from “an innovative business, public service or third sector organisation” to “individuals, communities and regions”. The White Paper begins to show clearer linkage between all areas of responsibility covered by the Department for Innovation, Universities & Skills (DIUS). John Denham’s department recommends unlocking new public sector procurement markets through policy changes to stimulate supplier opportunities among SMEs and start-ups. This significant move echoes a central recommendation in the Council for Industry and Higher Education (CIHE) submission to the DIUS, and it acknowledges that Government is the largest single customer within the UK economy. 

The NCGE is pleased to see repeated the announcement first made in the Government’s Enterprise Strategy that DIUS will work with BERR (the Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform) and the NCGE to develop regionally-based University Enterprise Networks based on the Kauffman experience in the US.  Proposals also suggest new Partnerships for Innovation involving businesses, universities and colleges, which seek to attract venture capital finance for enterprises.  The NCGE sees aspects of many of its existing initiatives reflected in Innovation Nation and the Enterprise Strategy and looks forward to the political and practical support promised by the White Paper in encouraging more innovation in UK education.

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