Is Heseltine’s economic plan between a rock and a hardplace?

A plan that recommends innovation as a driver of economic growth is surely to be welcomed, but is UK Plc ready to listen?

Lord Heseltine has today set out a comprehensive economic plan to improve the UK’s ability to create wealth. The report, ‘No Stone Unturned in Pursuit of Growth’, makes recommendations which aim to inject stability into the economy, create the conditions for growth and maximise the performance of the UK. 

He also states that “We have to become much more productive so we can be a leading high tech, highly skilled economy. We must build a new model of economic growth…..”

As such, he even commends the transformative approach in bringing together government, industry and academia to create joint technology roadmaps.

However our experience as a leading UK based Innovation and growth consultancy, suggests that it is not just government that needs to be embracing change.  For sustained growth,  UK mid-market and FTSE 100 companies must also radically change their attitude to innovation. 

Over the last few years we have worked intensively with international companies to improve their competitiveness, identify innovations that will differentiate them in their existing market sectors and create opportunities for their capabilities in new sectors.  These business leaders recognise that time invested in developing growth platforms and technology roadmaps will help future proof their organisations and deliver sustained growth. Unfortunately most of these are not in the UK. 

nu Angle’s team includes some of the most experienced technology experts, technology strategists, and road-mapping consultants in the world.  With hard won knowledge gained from working with leaders in their fields.

But do UK business leaders want to benefit from these insights?  The short answer is only very few. 

Unlike Germany where businesses invest in R&D to sustain their growth or in the USA where entrepreneurial management has kept Apple at the top of its game, UK mid-market business is increasingly risk adverse and won’t use outside help. 

Based in the high technology cluster of Cambridge and working with researchers across the country we see clearly how innovation emerging from our universities is enthusiastically embraced by overseas organisations and shunned by those at home.

We already have a leading high technology, highly skilled economy plus world leading innovation and growth advisers. So what is needed to make UK companies use these skills to build new growth and create more employment?