Commenting on the DexEU paper on Science & Innovation published today, Ms Lee Hopley, Chief Economist at EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, said:
“Investment in science and Innovation, especially involving international collaboration, has a well-proven track record of delivering higher labour productivity , increased export performance and better adoption of innovative products and processes, especially amongst SMEs. The UK has been very successful in competing and winning in innovation research funding, to the benefit of the UK’s manufacturing sector, and for which funding would otherwise not have been supported from within the UK alone.
“As such, the Government is right to recognise the vital need on keeping the UK at the of leading edge science innovation through funding collaboration post the UK’s exit from the EU, but there is rather less ambition around how on-going and future relationship UK manufacturers might have with EU framework projects, despite evaluation evidence of a breadth of benefits from improved international networks to improving attractiveness for skills and investment.
“Government has shown positive intent by its a willingness to pay a price for maintaining access to leading edge EU programmes. It should build on this by indicating how it will seek to maintain the UK’s current and significant influence around shared innovation priorities, which will need to be viewed in the context of a bold and ambitious industrial strategy.”