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2013.07.02.I author: European Association of Development Agencies -

NESTA report on innovation-led growth

Since 2008, the UK’s economic debate has largely been about short-term recovery. The argument has focused on which of two options will end the recession: Plan A or Plan B, austerity or stimulus. But neither addresses the UK’s longer-term growth prospects. Growth depends on innovation — our ability to generate and adopt new knowledge and ideas. Decades of research have shown that innovation is the most important driver of long-term productivity and prosperity, and that innovative businesses create more jobs and grow faster. Yet despite the UK’s many strengths as an innovative economy, there are crucial ways it is losing ground.

Plan I argues for a change of direction. It shows why fostering innovation must be a priority for the UK and for the government: why an environment where businesses have the confidence to invest is needed, where entrepreneurs are free to take risks, and barriers to new ideas and new entrants are low. It advocates anactive role for government addressing issues like access to finance and education, investing where the private sector will not, and using its power as a purchaser, regulator and funder to support innovators. And it argues that we have much to learn from how the most innovative countries around the world — including the US and Finland, Israel and Korea — have combined active government support with highlyentrepreneurial cultures.


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