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Forget Plan A, we need Plan Innovation

Forget Plan A, we need Plan Innovation

The Work Foundation

2 min read Partner content

The UK should look beyond arguments about Plan A or Plan B and focus on innovation, according to a new report.

The National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts (NESTA) argues in its new publication ‘Plan I: the case for innovation-led growth’ that the debate about austerity vs stimulus ignores UK's longer-term growth prospects.

NESTA’s Innovation Index figures showed that the UK economy, far from flourishing in the last 10 years, has experienced a 'lost decade' of innovation, damaging long-term growth.

The Plan I strategy has been backed by the Big Innovation Centre.

"The group have set out a compelling narrative on how policy could further support innovation," said Professor Birgitte Andersen, director of the Big Innovation Centre.

"The only chance we have to recover from the recession is through action to support innovation."

Will Hutton, chair of the Big Innovation Centreadded: "The government should get behind its bold statements on innovation and act imaginatively, determinedly and at scale."

Professor Anderson said innovation is as much about public policy as it is about businesses finding ways to back and advance innovative new business models.

"Public and private organisations need to find new ways to work together to unlock the potential of new technologies and to forge new wealth-creating markets," she said.

"In the coming months, the Big Innovation Centrewill be working collaboratively with NESTA and our other partners across these areas."

NESTA’s Plan I sets out 12 recommendations to kick-start sustainable innovation-led growth, and move beyond the typical economic policy that has dominated in the UK for the last decade.

They include a new £200m fund for early-stage ventures; freedom to raise money for the Green Investment Bank, and a new business banks to lend to growth sectors including advanced manufacture and life sciences.

NESTA also calls for the proceeds of the forthcoming 4G spectrum auction, estimated at £4bn, to be invested in science, technology and innovation.

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