Belfast Telegraph

UK 'facing decade of stagnation'

The UK faces a lost decade of stagnation unless the Government works with business and finance to move the country away from an "economic corner", a new report has warned.

The report by the Work Foundation and Lancaster University calls for investment in areas of the economy likely to bring the greatest dividends in growth and jobs.

Ministers are pressed to work alongside business and finance to take advantage of the "enormous" opportunities provided by emerging technologies in health science, digital and low carbon.

Will Hutton, co-author of the report, said: "Britain is in an economic corner and we must now innovate our way out of stagnation. This requires a wholesale shift in the way we think about growth. We need an enterprising state co-creating with business and finance - in short, an innovation ecosystem.

"Britain's patchwork of institutions, networks and public agencies is not fit for purpose. Too few firms and public bodies have a grip on how to benefit from open innovation - the key to change in the 21st century.

"The state must take the lead on this because confidence among businesses is so fragile at present. The Government has already recognised the importance of this agenda but the time has come to make it happen."

The Work Foundation and Lancaster University launched the Big Innovation Centre, aimed at promoting innovation and investment.

A Department for Business spokesman said: "Innovation is absolutely central to our plans for growth and job creation.

Already we have taken decisive action. Our £200 million network of world-leading technology and innovation centres will transform the UK's capability for innovation.

"Investing an additional £100 million in science capital development will provide SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises) with the facilities they need to commercialise research. And allocating £3 billion in capital to the world's first Green Investment Bank will help the UK to take advantage of the enormous opportunities that the transition to a low carbon economy presents."