Belfast Telegraph

Most companies plan post-Brexit vote spending hike on innovation, says CBI

Most firms plan to increase or at least maintain spending on innovation to boost business growth following the vote to leave the European Union, a survey shows.

Despite the finding, businesses are worried that the UK lags behind international competitors, said the CBI.

A survey of more than 800 companies found that only 7% planned to cut investment on innovation.

Firms viewed the UK as a world beater in scientific research and tax incentives to support investment, but not in other areas such as grant funding.

Carolyn Fairbairn, director-general of the CBI, said: "The UK will need to work hard to become the front-runner in global innovation, creating a pioneering economic role for itself in the world that drives prosperity in every corner of the UK.

"Innovation is the nucleus of future economic and social development, so it's encouraging that seven out of 10 firms will keep up, or even raise, their spending on new technologies and work practices to grow their business.

"Spending on innovation generates jobs and economic growth across the country, offering solutions to the challenges we face today and in the years ahead from improving healthcare and mobile technology to a new generation of autonomous vehicles.

"While the UK has many innovation strengths to build on, businesses are worried that the country is too much of a follower in the global economy, with the lack of access to technical skills a grave concern for ambitious firms."

The report was published ahead of the CBI's annual conference in London today.