A joint report from the TUC and The Work Foundation warns that the Government’s science strategy will fail unless a hole in the £1.25bn plan is plugged.
The report, Networking know-how: technology transfer and the UK productivity gap, the first in a programme of work on UK manufacturing and productivity, urges employers here to learn from best practice abroad, especially from the US and Germany. It says regional networks of technology transfer, such as those in the US and the rest of Europe, need to be developed in the UK.
Author of the report and chief economist at The Work Foundation, Rebecca Harding, said:
"Current government policy has gone some way towards correcting the historic misconception that investment in R&D (research and development) leads directly to higher productivity, but it hasn't managed to plug the gap between scientific invention and entrepreneurial application.
"We need widespread recognition that the relationship between our scientists, universities and businesses is a complex one that has to be conducted at a regional level if it is to be successful."
TUC General Secretary, John Monks, said: "This is the key area for the next stage of the UK’s innovation policy.
"We cannot import wholesale a system from abroad, but we do need to be looking to the rest of Europe and the States for successful regional networks.
"England’s Regional Development Agencies and the UK’s devolved institutions look perfectly placed to be the hub of technology transfer networks."