Government’s science strategy will fail say experts

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."

www.tuc.org.uk

By Quentin Reade

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