Government launches the “Innovation and Research Strategy for Growth” in Big Innovation Centre

David Willetts MP (Minister of State for Universities and Science) launches growth strategy in Big Innovation Centre

Big Innovation Centre was pleased to host the launch of the Government’s Innovation and Research Strategy for Growth from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.  

Speakers included:

  • David Willetts MP, Minister of State for Universities and Science
  • Birgitte Andersen, Director, Big Innovation Centre
  • David Kester, Chief Executive, Design Council
  • Rick Rylance, Chair, RCUK
  • David Bott, Director of Innovation Programmes, Technology Strategy Board
  • Michael Hunt, Reneuron

LINK to photos from the event.

Press Release for Event


8th December 2011

Government launches Innovation and Research Strategy for Growth

Charles Levy, Senior Economist at the Big Innovation Centre commented:

“Today the government is rightly recognising innovation as the foundation of our modern economy. The government is a central player in the public and private networks that underpin innovation in our economy, and this strategy will enhance that role.

“Britain has a world-class research base, with our universities, leading firms and small businesses all producing a wealth of valuable ideas. These ideas are critical to our economic recovery, and it is essential that we make the most of them. This strategy sets out some great measures to further capitalise on Britain’s research base, to meet the needs of our innovative businesses and to turn our knowledge into the revenue and jobs the UK so desperately needs.

“Even though many of the initiatives don’t represent major new investments, measures such as a new ‘Open Data Institute’, a new ‘Research Gateway’ supporting access to publically funded research information and £145 million for new e-infrastructure will all punch above their weight because they are part of a coordinated vision for innovation.

Responding to the launch of the strategy at the Big Innovation Centre, Director Birgitte Andersen said:

“The UK faces a tough economic outlook, but this strategy could be the beginning of a process that turns the UK into the most innovative economy in the world. However, it remains unclear whether the scale and scope of the strategy is big enough to underpin a truly innovative economic policy. Proof of real commitment will be confident backing for such initiatives as the rebranded Catapult Centres.

“Entrepreneurship and innovation must be at the heart of the government’s growth strategy – success in this area is not optional in today’s economic climate. But neither the government nor the free market can do this alone, and nor can our businesses, our banks or our universities. The Big Innovation Centre is at the forefront of this agenda and is working across these groups to ensure that together we can build the conditions needed for the British business success stories of the future.”

Notes to editors

  • The Big Innovation Centre is being supported by BAE Systems; Barclays; Design Council; EDF Energy; Experian; GlaxoSmithKline; Google; Guardian Media Group; HEFCE; Institute of Practitioners in Advertising; Jon Moulton; Lord Sainsbury; Logica; MAN Group; NESTA; PWC; Technology Strategy Board; Unilever and a consortium of universities (Bristol, UCL, Cambridge, Leeds, Oxford, Newcastle, Sheffield and Edinburgh and the University Alliance).
  • The Big Innovation Centre is hosting the launch of the government’s Innovation and Research Strategy for Growth from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on Thursday, 08 December 2011 from 12.15 – 14.30 with David Willetts MP, Minister of State for Universities and Science. For further information on this event please contact Joanna Massie, Centre Administrator: T 020 7976 3502, Email:
  • Professor Birgitte Andersen (Centre Director) and Charles Levy (Senior Economist) are available for interviews, briefings and written commentary.
  • The Big Innovation Centre is an initiative of The Work Foundation and Lancaster University. The Work Foundation is a leading independent international authority on work and its future, influencing policy and practice for the benefit of society.

The Big Innovation Centre seeks to make the UK a global innovation hub, to build a world-class innovation ecosystem, and re-balance and grow the UK economy. We undertake research and analysis into:

  • Building innovative markets, places and networks
  • Building an innovation friendly financial system
  • Universities as interactive partners in systems of innovation
  • Skills for innovation
  • The Enterprising state: public action to drive innovation

Media enquiries:

  • Tom Phillips 020 7976 3554
  • Anna Kharbanda 020 7976 3646

For out of hours media enquiries: Nasreen Memon 07825 527 036

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