LATEST FROM TWITTER
Find out about the Big Innovation Centre
Read our latest reports
Find out about our partners
23 May 2012
Today’s retail figures present a mixed picture, with significant monthly falls in some areas and rises elsewhere. But aside from arguments about the poor weather and a somewhat artificial drop in fuel consumption after Easter panic buying, it is clear over the longer term that consumers are buying less, with a fall of 1.1% in the volume of sales since April last year. How worried should we be by this?
22 May 2012
Seedrs has announced that it will be opening its doors to startups seeking seed investment; if it is successful we could see the expansion of a new funding source for British SMEs.
16 May 2012
Today’s job market figures contain plenty of good news. But for all these positive signs, there are a couple of doubts hanging over these numbers.
11 May 2012
Yesterday’s Composite Leading Indicators from the OECD indicate that the UK may have reached a turning point in the economic cycle, but it looks as though the recession may continue for a little while yet.
03 May 2012
Earlier this week, David Willetts announced the government’s intention to make publically funded research available for free to readers. This announcement comes in the wake of a tumultuous few months for academic publishers.
01 May 2012
The Big Innovation Centre was delighted to host yesterday’s launch of 'Strengthening the Contribution of English Higher Education Institutions to the Innovation System: knowledge exchange and HEIF funding', the HEFCE-sponsored report into the contribution of higher education to economic growth.
24 April 2012
The squeeze on bank lending to SMEs shows no signs of abating. February saw a drop in bank lending to UK companies of £4bn, the biggest fall in two years, according to the Bank of England’s quarterly lending report. The rate of decline has been higher for SMEs than for other classes of business.
18 April 2012
One feature of recent changes in the labour market is a growth in involuntary part-time and temporary workers, those working on a temporary or part-time basis when they would rather find a permanent job or full-time work. In the year to February 2012 the involuntary temporary workforce grew by 10%, the involuntary part-time by 19%. This could be interpreted as a positive sign, with employers cautiously taking on workers under more flexible arrangements or with fewer hours in response to tentative indications of an economic recovery.
12 April 2012
This morning’s trade figures appeared to be disappointing reading, with the UK’s deficit on trade in goods and services rising to £3.4bn in February from £2.5bn in January. January’s figure itself was an increase from a previously estimated £1.8bn deficit.
Hilary Sutcliffe, Director, MATTER
“Responsible research and innovation means taking collective care for the future, through the stewardship of innovation in the present”
Jack Stilgoe, Responsible Innovation Group, University of Exeter
This definition of responsible innovation is the starting point for the current work being undertaken by the UK Research Councils on Responsible Innovation.
11 April 2012
Facebook's billion-dollar valuation of Instagram makes the less than two year old startup more valuable than the 161 year old The New York Times Company. Only yesterday it had a closing price on the New York Stock Exchange of $946m...
05 April 2012
How do we configure and structure innovation systems in ways that deliver “responsible innovation”? First, we need to define “responsible innovation”. Different views exist regarding what it is and what the importance of “responsibility” is, compared to the other benefits that innovation delivers. Citizens have different views about social or environmental goods and bads and their relative importance. So there is a political dimension to this issue that needs to be recognized, although I am not going to dwell on this. But putting that to one side, the question then becomes how the different players within innovation systems can be appropriately incentivized and encouraged to deliver [more] “responsible” innovation?
23 March 2012
Environmentally sustainable must always be fiscally sustainable”, was the message from the Chancellor at Budget 2012. Providing a boost to North Sea oil, gas extraction and a £3billion new field allowance west of Shetland will certainly create jobs in the energy sector, but what about businesses and jobs which specifically reduce carbon emissions?
22 March 2012
Yesterday’s budget was meant to put Britain back on the path to growth and recovery. The Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) has set out in its forecasts what that path might look like. As the government’s watchdog on public finances, its primary function is to ensure that the government is meeting its fiscal mandate during this period of austerity. But as the governments’ fiscal target is to eliminate the structural deficit by 2016/17, one of the key judgements they are required to make is the size of the output gap. The output gap reflects the underlying capacity for the economy to grow without giving rise to inflation, debt imbalances or other factors that could cause a subsequent correction in the future. And the size of the output gap is a key judgement for the OBR, because as it determines how much of the deficit is cyclical and how much of it is structural, it has important implications for the government’s fiscal target.
21 March 2012
Today the Chancellor extended tax relief to three sections of the UK’s creative industries, animation, videogames and high-cost drama. Broadly this makes a lot of sense. As The Work Foundation have argued in the past, the creative industries have a particularly wide role in the economy, generating significant positive spillovers. We have some world-leading production capacity in these areas, but recent industrial activism in other countries such as Canada and Ireland has moved some key business abroad from the UK.