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The UK Looks to Innovation for Economic Growth and Prosperity

Find a downloadable version of this story in pdf format at the end of the story.

SPEAKING AHEAD of his keynote speech at the UK event, Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said: “The Government is committed to supporting economic growth. Instead of being dependent on government or consumer borrowing we need to rebalance the economy towards innovation in the private sector. The work of the Technology Strategy Board and its partners across Government, many of whom are here today, will make a critical contribution to converting leading positions in research into the growth industries of the future.”

The Innovate10 networking and innovation event, organized by the Technology Strategy Board, was attended by over 2000 innovative business people and researchers.

David Willetts also announced that the Technology Strategy Board is to create a new Innovation Platform in Stratified Medicine. This will bring business, government, academia and the research community together in a major initiative that will place the UK at the centre of a revolution in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. The new program will oversee an investment of over £50 million of government funding in innovative research and development in areas such as tumor profiling to improve cancer care and developing biomarkers for more effective drugs. The first funding competitions under this programme, worth up to £11 million, were also launched today.

Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, announced the launch of a further Technology Strategy Board initiative with the opening of IC tomorrow, a unique online resource that allows businesses to test new digital services and run trials with consumers in a dedicated area of the Internet. Developed by the Technology Strategy Board, IC tomorrow enables content owners and application developers - any business with a new service, new business model or new way of deploying hardware or software technology - to trial their ideas with participating UK consumers, giving them the opportunity to provide feedback and shape products before they go on sale.

The Technology Strategy Board is also working towards launching funding competitions over the next few months worth up to about £50 million, to accelerate innovation. These will support collaborative research and development projects in a wide range of technology areas including marine energy, low carbon vehicles, regenerative medicine and the creative industries.

Dr. Graham Spittle, Chairman of the Technology Strategy Board, said: “A proven way to find new ideas and develop the products and services of tomorrow is to connect, collaborate and work together - small businesses, big business and the research community. Through collaborative research and development, the Technology Strategy Board brings innovative thinkers together in important areas of science, engineering and technology.”

It was also announced that the Technology Strategy Board would co-fund, with the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the creation of two new Innovation and Knowledge Centers, which will mix business knowledge with the most up-to-date research to harness the full potential of emerging technologies. The new centers will build on the success of the existing centers at Cambridge, Cranfield, Queen's University Belfast and Leeds University and become centers of excellence to achieve major scientific breakthroughs. Supporting innovations that help address some of society's key sustainability challenges, such as climate change, sustainable transport, our aging population and a clean and secure energy supply, is a key part of the Technology Strategy Board's work.

Closing Innovate10, Iain Gray, the Technology Strategy Board's Chief Executive, said: “We recognize that the need for sustainable solutions for society also creates new markets and opens up opportunities to deliver UK economic growth. Technological innovation is key to a sustainable future and this is best achieved when there is knowledge sharing and collaboration between businesses and academia. This is what we are here to support.”

The Technology Strategy Board is a business-led executive public body that promotes and supports research into developing technology for the benefit of UK business, and improve the quality of life.

Download the story in pdf format here.

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