Creating wealth from knowledge
The DTI?s programme ?Creating Wealth from Knowledge? has evolved due to the realisation that the economy and growth of Britain will be led by success in industry and associated research
The former Department of Trade and Industry?s (now the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform [DBERR]) Five- Year Programme, ?Creating Wealth from Knowledge? maps out ?a new industrial policy?, which has a clear ambition to make Britain the most attractive place in the world for scientific research.
?Creating Wealth from Knowledge? states that Britain is winning in the global knowledge economy, but that the UK needs to do more to meet the challenge of rising economies such as China and India.
There is still a need for greater exploitation of science and technology and a step-change in innovation in the economy and workplaces. In terms of national innovation governance the government?s programme sets out how it intends to work with key stakeholders including business, employees and their trade unions, consumers and the science base, to help focus more on science and innovation, enterprise and investing in people. While the DBERR is the key government actor in UK innovation policy, a number of other departments and ministries undertake innovation-related activities, for example, by commissioning intra and extramural R&D in support of their departmental objectives.
There is still a need for greater exploitation of science and technology and a step-change in innovation in the economy and workplaces
Furthermore, the UK government is aiming to ensure that policy decisions and implementation are co-ordinated across all the government departments and agencies.
Among the proposals are the following:
- Research funding to be increased from 1.9% to 2.5% of Britain?s annual income by 2014
- Aim to have 20% of British businesses owned by women by 2006
- Increasing global awareness of the important part that the UK has to play in cutting-edge research.
A crucial part of the project is the focus on education and enhancing skills of employees. Part of these initiatives will be to make the UK more attractive to international students who have completed a doctorate in certain subject areas deemed to have shortages of skilled workers.Also, the percentage of young adults under 30 who achieve at least a level three qualification will be increased.
?Creating Wealth from Knowledge? states that Britain is winning in the global knowledge economy, but it needs to do more to meet the challenge of rising economies, such as China and India. It needs greater exploitation of science and technology and a step-change in innovation in the economy, and the workplace.
A crucial part of the project is the focus on education and enhancing skills of employees
The programme put forward a wide range of policies to help British business succeed in the global economy, including:
- Strengthening science and boosting innovation.
- Taking action to tackle animal rights extremism, with new proposals to address the economic damage to research activities.
- Establishing ?Newton Awards? ? a multi-million pound fund for high-profile, cross-disciplinary research with potential for breakthroughs in areas likely to help UK public policy and business priorities.
- Establishing a new ideas portal (a new mechanism for firms, inventors and researchers to submit unsolicited, innovative proposals to the public sector).
- Appointing a leading business figure to work with the Office of Government Commerce to ensure the full implementation of the Kelly Review on public sector procurement, and help deal with the barriers that prevent innovative solutions being adopted in the public sector.
- Boosting R&D from its current level of 1.9% of national income to 2.5% per year by 2014, and delivering greater departmental focus on R&D.
- Building on the success of the Manufacturing Advisory Service to strengthen British manufacturing ? helping an extra 20,000 firms.
- Working closely with unions and business groups to deliver on the government?s Manufacturing Strategy.
- Action on regulation
- Reducing the regulatory burdens on business arising from government regulations by more than £1bn over the lifetime of this Five-Year Programme.
- Limiting the introduction by the government of all new domestic regulations to two common dates per year and introduce this model across Whitehall within the lifetime of the programme.
- Piloting a one-stop shop on enforcement, with trials in the retail sector.
- Promoting enterprise
- Delivering easier access to business support for small businesses. RDAs will take on responsibility for the network and Business Link will help over half a million existing small businesses every year during the five-year plan.
- Launching an automated service through www.businesslink.gov.uk to notify businesses about changes to regulations that affect them.
- Establishing a new ?Award for Phoenix Entrepreneurs? to encourage positive public recognition for individuals whose first business did not succeed, but who have come back, worked hard, and built successful enterprises.
- Establishing a new Women?s Enterprise Panel to help the government achieve its target of increasing the proportion of women-owned businesses to 20% by 2006.
- Completing the national roll-out of Consumer Direct to provide consumers with advice and information via the phone or web.
- Boosting skills and helping employees
- Working with employers and unions to raise significantly the proportion of UK young people under 30 achieving skill Level three (A levels or the vocational equivalent).
- Developing new proposals to attract global entrepreneurial talent and academic expertise to the UK and establish a comprehensive policy towards the recognition of foreign credentials, while continuing to monitor all migration schemes to ensure they are robust against abuse.
- Developing new policies to attract and retain foreign students who successfully complete a PhD in a shortage subject at an accredited UK university.
- Ensuring that the enterprise society is open to all ? raising the self-employment rate of ethnic minorities and taking action to tackle employer racial discrimination. Legislation has been introduced to outlaw age discrimination in the workplace and give people more choice about when they retire, including the option of combining part-time retirement with part-time work.
- Encouraging best work organisation practice to produce more high-performance workplaces by implementing new information and consultation rights through the Union Modernisation Fund.
- Extending the numbers of trade union learning representatives in the workplace.
- Working through the Women and Work Commission to improve the labour market position of women and achieve measurable improvements in gender equality across a range of indicators, including a further reduction in the gender pay gap.
- Building on the UK?s successful flexible working policies to help parents and carers combine their work and caring role much more easily, including: the length and remuneration of maternity, paternity, adoptive and parental leave; the extension of the right to request flexible working to carers of adults.
- Establishing a new website, Employee Direct, to provide employees with comprehensive, tailored information on the full range of their employment rights.
- Driving forward reform in Europe.
- Improving the operation of the single market by pressing for continued market opening through the Services Directive and by promoting the proactive use of competition policy to ensure that the economic benefits of market integration are realised.
- Pushing for phased implementation of EC directives (sunrise clauses), wherever appropriate.
- Promoting the further liberalisation of international energy markets and the use of sustainable energy to secure a diverse range of future energy supplies.
- Stepping up the UK?s role as a leading advocate for free and fair trade.
For more information, visit: www.berr.gov.uk