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29 November 2011
Today Osborne was able to stand up the House of Commons and rely on the latest forecasts from the Office for Budgetary Responsibility. Things are bad, but with reliable numbers behind him we can have confidence that he is honestly telling us just how bad things are. No longer does a Chancellor have to risk his credibility on the dark art of economic forecasting. He can leave that to the technocrats and we can get on with discussing the relatively minor tweaks to his spending plans.
Dr Benjamin Reid
The ‘vital 6%’ of high growth firms in the UK, it has been said, are responsible for up to half of new job growth. That 6% are, almost exclusively, Small or Medium Enterprises (SMEs) – at least when they start their growth spurt. So how is the pool of ‘potential’ high growth SME firms in the UK likely to be feeling following George Osborne’s 2011 Autumn Statement, and what are the implications of its prescriptions for their opportunities to innovate and create jobs?
The Coalition has always towed a pretty consistent line on geographic re-balancing in the UK: we need to become less dependent on the South East, and spread growth more evenly around the country. The message from today’s Autumn Statement was no different – the Chancellor announced a series of measures that aim to boost prosperity around the UK.
25 November 2011
It is a central tenet of economics that competition helps to drive innovation. So when the government announces that it wants to make it easier for firms to compete for public contracts, as it did this week, it is generally a welcome development. Public procurement can help to drive innovation through creating large-scale markets for new products and processes that might otherwise take longer to take off, and by demonstrating that these new ideas can work.
Professor Birgitte Andersen
22 November 2011
Competitiveness and economic performance of firms, regions and nations has to be understood in a local context. This is not despite, but because of the globalisation of production, trade and labour mobility - the growth of trans-national corporations, information and communication advances and the emergence of the e-business. Far from wiping out the role of local business networks or the regions, these forces of globalisation reinforce their importance. Directors of leading companies, for example, look closely at the innovation and investment ecosystems of different cities and regions when they make decisions about where to invest and create jobs.
16 November 2011
Creative entrepreneurs need access to the raw materials of innovation when they are exploring the possibilities of new markets, new technologies and new business models. When copyright locks up these resources, it acts as an impediment to innovation.
15 November 2011
Business minister Mark Prisk yesterday marked the start of Global Entrepreneurship Week by launching two new government services designed to enhance the capabilities of start-up or early stage firms.
The Work Foundation
14 November 2011
Watch Will Hutton present a keynote speech at the Innovate '11 Conference, from 11 October 2011.
11 November 2011
The Eurozone crisis has reached a crescendo over the past few days, with newspaper headlines declaring an ‘endgame’ and reports that Angela Merkel’s party are investigating ways in which countries could leave the single currency.
09 November 2011
Higher education and public research are currently a focus for much heated debate. There are huge higher education funding cuts and changes to funding schemes for institutions in the UK, as well as EU initiatives - including expert recommendations for metrics for ‘knowledge transfer’ from Europe - which have provoked responses from the member states. It is worrying that the EU’s recommendations (and many of the member states' responses to them) on boosting university-industry collaboration mainly use a linear model of ‘knowledge transfer’ to prescribe policy related to ‘goal setting targets’ and measurement. The metrics used are as quantitative as possible, mainly in relation to patent applications, patent grants, licences executed, license income earned and spin-offs established.
03 November 2011
The vital role that universities play in creating economic growth is a huge focus for University Alliance. It is a fact that seems self-evident and yet as Professor Wendy Purcell highlights in our ‘Growing the Future’ publication, “this role is often underplayed, under-utilised and misunderstood.”