• Alexander Clifford

UK’s political parties show commitment to innovation

The Conservative manifesto, launched last week, says the party will deliver nationwide growth through its industrial strategy and continued investment in R&D. It aims to “identify the industries that are of strategic value” to the economy – such as manufacturing materials science, emerging technology, health & life science and infrastructure systems.

The Labour Party have similarly placed an emphasis on R&D, aiming to “create an innovation nation” as well as committing to extra research investment with a spend of 3% of GDP on R&D by 2030.

The Liberal Democrats have noted they have a long-term goal to “double innovation and research spending across the economy” in their party manifesto.

Scotland’s leading party, the SNP, has reiterated its stance on continuing to work with Scottish universities and institutions, as well as calling for a Scottish representative to be made a member of the UK Research and Innovation Board. The Board decides how funding is allocated to UK universities for research purposes.

Commenting on the contents of the party manifestos, Scott Henderson, Managing Director of Jumpstart, said: “We are highly encouraged by all parties committing to continual investment in the UK’s innovation networks.

“Whoever wins the General Election, it is essential they embrace fiscal and industrial policies that will strengthen the UK’s competitive position as we transition from a protected entity within the EU into a larger, more competitive global trading environment.”

Mr Henderson’s comments come as the company was noted within the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) response to the Government’s Green Paper consultation on its Industrial Strategy.

The firm proposed that HMRC should increase enhancement rates for R&D tax relief in sub-sectors and technologies the Government intends to prioritise. ICAEW believes R&D tax relief has played a key role in encouraging commercialisation of UK businesses intellectual property.

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