Innovation UK > News > Innovation UK Vol5-2 > Support that leads to success

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Support that leads to success

The UK is an international centre of excellence for technological leadership and R&D, with a government committed to raising investment in innovation - and UKTI is there to provide support all the way

The UK government aims for Britain to be the best place in the world to run an innovative business or service. Boosting and focusing investment in innovation is an essential element of government action to ensure a successful recovery from the current economic downturn. The government has focused especially on creating the conditions for business success, promoting innovation, enterprise and science and on building the workforce skills and opportunities to deliver that success.

UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is the UK?s national trade and investment promotion agency and brings its unique international perspective and experience to supporting innovative firms setting up in and doing business from the UK. UKTI is also a key partner in implementing initiatives from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the department created this year by the Prime Minister in order to bring together the strategy, policy and expertise needed to build Britain?s economic future.

New initiatives

New measures announced by the government this year to support a dynamic and competitive UK economy and foster an environment for world-class science and research, include: a Strategic Investment Fund; a UK Innovation Investment Fund; a Low-Carbon Industrial Strategy; and Support for Advanced Manufacturing. The Strategic Investment Fund announced in the government?s 2009 budget will bring support to advanced industrial projects with strategic importance to economic renewal and future growth. It is a commitment that will help ensure that the UK is able to emerge from the economic downturn in a globally competitive position and can help the UK to attract technology-driven inward investment ahead of its major competitors. The £750m fund will ringfence £250m for renewable energy and low-carbon business opportunities, and also provide £10m for a UKTI package of support for major trade and investment events.

The UKTI Marketing Strategies

UKTI has launched two new marketing strategies to cover low-carbon technologies and advanced engineering. These are in addition to the existing five strategies already in place in the sectors of: information and communication technology; life science; energy technologies; financial services; and creative industries. The aim of these marketing strategies is to place the UK as the leading partner of choice in these key fields.

In direct response to the recession, UKTI has introduced measures to support companies to do businesses from a UK base. These include the new package ?Gateway to Global Growth? to help experienced exporters diversify into new overseas markets and a marketing initiative ?Take it to the World?, to encourage more UK businesses to explore opportunities overseas with courage and confidence. The funding rules for attending events and exhibitions overseas through the Tradeshow Access Programme have also been simplified.

The UK Innovation Investment Fund, announced by the Prime Minister in June 2009, was created specifically to invest in technology-based businesses with high-growth potential. It is a new fund to focus on investing in growing small businesses, start-ups and spin-outs, in digital technologies and life sciences, clean technology and advanced manufacturing.

The government?s Low Carbon Strategy established the North East and South West regions as the UK?s first specialist low-carbon economic areas. UKTI, both in the UK and in Japan, worked with regional and BIS partners, with Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills Lord Mandelson personally engaged, to facilitate an important, high-value project from long-standing inward investor Nissan.

This has led to the company deciding to invest £200m to research and build automotive electric batteries in the North East. It is a move that will help establish the UK?s place as a global leader in the hi-tech manufacturing and automotive industries. Nissan has also formed a partnership with regional development agency One North East to explore the feasibility of developing a zero-emission mobility programme in the UK.

Support for Advanced Manufacturing was announced in July 2009. A £150m package of measures will help UKbased manufacturers seize the opportunities provided by emerging technologies and has been launched as part of the government?s targeted strategies for key sectors and markets. The investment, which totals £151.5m will expand access to information, encourage take up of new technologies and address specific challenges faced by the aerospace sector.



Support from UKTI, working with regional investment promotion agency East of England International (EEI) and partners, including the Research Councils and the Technology Strategy Board, helped international healthcare, lighting and consumer products company Philips relocate its new UK R&D centre to Cambridge. When the company re-focused its R&D operation, the team worked closely with Philips Research to emphasise the capabilities and reputation of the UK and of Cambridge in preparing the business plan for the new location. The Philips Research R&D centre in Cambridge opened in November 2008.

Lime Technology

UKTI was able to help innovative low-energy building materials company Lime Technology grow its exports to North America. Company founder Ian Pritchett saw that the materials used in historic buildings were all low carbon and had little or no fossil fuels used in their production and wondered about using the same materials in modern-day builds. After research projects with Bristol, Bath and Bradford Universities to develop materials based on unfired earth, lime binders, natural aggregates and plant fibres, Lime Technology was keen to grow its exports to North America, Australia and parts of Europe and in January 2009 joined a UKTI trade mission to Canada. Lime Technology is now involved in supplying lime-based materials to hundreds of building projects, including the Channel Tunnel Rail Link Terminal at St Pancras Station, the new National Trust headquarters and the new Amnesty International office.

The UKTI record of supporting innovative business succes

UKTI works in partnership with the Regional Development Agencies, Devolved Administrations, with BIS and with other government departments and external partners such as the Technology Strategy Board and the Research Councils to bring more R&D investment into the UK from overseas. During 2008-9, UKTI worked on 107 R&D-based investment projects. Many investment successes derive from sponsorships of research projects at UK universities.

The universities form part of the core of the UK?s research base and have a culture of developing technologies with practical commercial applications. In fact, universities in the UK produce a far higher number of spin-outs than their US counterparts per £1m of research.

UKTI aims to provide a single international voice for UK companies designing, producing and deploying lowcarbon solutions, while presenting the UK economy as the destination of choice for low-carbon investment. It estimates that the fight against climate change is creating a new low-carbon products and services industry potentially worth £4.3tn by 2015.

UK Trade & Investment

UKTi is the government organisation that helps UKbased companies to succeed in the global economy. It also helps overseas companies bring their high-quality investment to the UK?s dynamic economy ? acknowledged as Europe?s best place from which to succeed in global business.

UK Trade & Investment offers expertise and contacts through its extensive network of specialists in the UK, and in British embassies and other diplomatic offices around the world. It provides companies with the tools they require to be competitive on the world stage.

For more information, contact:
Tel: +44 (0)20 7215 8000

Added the 03 October 2009 in category Innovation UK Vol5-2

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Tags: British Innovation, UK Trade & Investment, UKTI, R&D