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Innovation will speed UK's economic recovery

05 January 2009

The Annual Innovation Report outlines progress made to help transform public services and ensure UK businesses benefit from the £175 billion spent annually through Government procurement. The Government's progress on delivering the commitments first outlined in the Sainsbury Review and taken forward in the Innovation Nation White Paper is also highlighted.

Innovation vital for UK to emerge stronger from economic downturn
Innovation vital for UK to emerge stronger from economic downturn

Launched at a Downing Street reception attended by the Prime Minister, Innovation, Universities and Skills Secretary, John Denham, and Science and Innovation Minister, Lord Drayson, the report draws together information and data against which the UK's future progress will be judged.

The study is thought to be the first annual innovation report to hold Government to account on its pledge to make Britain the best place in the world to run an innovative business. The world's first national progress report on innovation by the UK Government has been carried out at a time when Ministers underlined the vital role innovation has to play in securing the country's long term prosperity.

Key achievements include: The announcement of a £5m Innovation Research Centre, which will conduct research to assist Government and businesses to meet current challenges including the economic downturn and climate change;

A commitment from every Government Department to use their procurement budget to encourage innovation in business. Guidance has been published to prepare these departmental Innovation Procurement Plans (IPP);

A pilot programme to ensure UK businesses benefit from the specialist expertise of further education colleges to make business more innovative and enable them to move into new markets.
Key statistics outlined in the report show signs of improvement in the UK's innovation performance but that there is more to do.

Lord Drayson said: "Publication of this First Annual Innovation Report delivers on a recommendation first set out by Lord Sainsbury in his 2007 review, 'Race to the Top'. It underlines our commitment to put innovation at the heart of our strategy, and to ensure the spread of good practice across government departments and Regional Development Agencies. "It presents a picture of a nation that is both good at innovation and getting better at it. However we need to maintain this progress to cope with the economic downturn and to emerge stronger from it. "We must continue to invest in talent, science and innovation. Our future depends on it."

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