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By chris

By chris

UK aiming for innovation superpower status

Ben Vaas, Commercial Lead at Ayming UK, the innovation landscape across the UK and how the Government can best support it.

Ayming recently hosted a virtual roundtable bringing together senior innovation experts at £multimillion turnover businesses with representatives from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The topic for discussion was the innovation landscape across the UK and how the Government can best support it.

The Government’s vision is for the UK to be the most innovative country in the world by 2035. BEIS is consulting with industry through its Innovation Expert Group (IEG) to develop the government’s Innovation Strategy, due for release later this year. As a member of the IEG and Director of Innovation Incentives at Ayming, my colleague Njy Rios facilitated the discussion. 

How can we reach our innovation potential?

The roundtable attendees raised many interesting points, including the need for the UK’s innovation ecosystem to prioritise entrepreneurial thinking, be fast-paced to ensure success, and build on existing programmes and initiatives rather than another total overhaul. 

In my experience, bureaucracy is a significant reason why innovation, in any sector, is often slow and cumbersome. If the UK is to become a global innovation superpower (and hit our target of 2.7% of GDP investment in innovation), we must see concrete action and reduced paperwork. 

Collaboration & positive steps forward

Just over 12 months after the pandemic started, over 50% of UK adults have received a partial vaccine. The scientific community’s incredible work developing a vaccine in record time proves that we can achieve great things through collaboration and cooperation. 

HMRC is currently seeking industry input into its R&D tax reliefs consultation, announced in March as part of Budget 2021. It’s great to see some positive movement towards an update of R&D tax legislation, as it’s a key driver of the economy, job growth, and scientific advance. We’ve recently launched our own UK innovation survey to understand the broader innovation discourse better. If you’d like to take part, then do so here. We’ve had a great response so far and, as a Downtown in Business member, your feedback will be more than welcome.


Ben Vass is a Commercial Lead at Ayming UK, helping clients of all sizes access innovation funding through grants and R&D tax incentives.

This article first appeared in DQ Issue 19.



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