This letter appeared in today's edition of The Daily Telegraph
Innovation is vital for growth and a prosperous economy. It helps manufacturers satisfy existing customers, and enables the creation of new opportunities in fast-growing export markets. Innovation is complex and challenging however and manufacturing cannot do it alone.
Multiple barriers can prevent successful innovation, such as risk and insufficient access to facilities, expertise and finance. Government support for innovation, especially the new network of Catapult centres, is critical.
Although funding for innovation support through Innovate UK was increased at the Spending Review, it will not be enough. The High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult must now see an increase in funding to expand capacity to work with more businesses and better engage with SMEs.
The recent Hauser review made clear the impact of the centres will ultimately depend on the amount government is prepared to invest in innovation. Growing the Catapult centres must go hand in hand with more resources for innovation support provided by Innovate UK. The science and innovation white paper in the forthcoming Autumn Statement must set out long-term funding for Innovate UK so it can maintain the breadth and scale of its existing programmes and grow the Catapult network in line with a balanced funding model.
Terry Scuoler, CEO EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation
Robert Marshall, CEO, Marshall Group
Juergen Maier, Chief Executive, Siemens plc
Andrew Churchill, Managing Director, JJ Churchill
Stuart Fell, Chairman, Pressworks
Tony Pedder, Chair, Council of University of Sheffield
Phil Elliott, Managing Director, Booths Dispensers
Julian David, CEO, TechUK
Philip Law, Director General, British Plastics Federation
Melanie Leech, Director General, FDF
Diana Montgomery, Chief Executive, Construction Products Association
Dale Wallis, Membership Director, British Printing Industries Association
Steve McQuillan, CEO, Avingtrans plc
Tom Brown, Chairman, Azuri Technologies Ltd
Jim Griffin, CEO, The Autins Group
Stephen Blatchford, CEO Chas A. Blatchford & Sons Ltd
Adam Weismann, Director, Clayworks