PraxisUnico comments on the Government's response to the 'Valley of Death' report

Dr Sue O’Hare, PraxisUnico Chair, commented: “We agree that there is not a single coherent strategy as yet for innovation but we welcome the longer-term approach demonstrated by the Industrial Strategy and Catapult Centres.  Overall the response is positive and we welcome the Government’s commitment to ensuring that investment in innovation would not be at the expense of research budgets.  Despite the recognition of the important role of universities, without an overall strategic approach to innovation demand-side issues will remain unresolved.”

Following a review of the Government’s response, PraxisUnico highlights the following key points:

·      The Government is continuing to back the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) strongly as the UK innovation agency. PraxisUnico has been arguing for increased funding for the TSB and it is helpful that the Government has acknowledged the need.

·      We are pleased that the Government has acknowledged the importance of proof of concept funding and the TSB will be reviewing provision. PraxisUnico is keen to support the review.

·      The Government has asked NCUB to investigate role of Easy Access IP and other innovative IP management schemes. Again PraxisUnico will be happy to lend its support.

·      Although the Government recognises that the TSB’s Innovation Vouchers scheme could be a key mechanism in developing relationships between SMEs and universities, the scheme is not yet widely used and this is not highlighted by the response.

·      The Government puts great emphasis on the network of Catapult Centres as very important in the development of SMEs’ capabilities but it does recognise the long timescale needed to develop the potential of Catapults and that making them financially self-supporting is an unrealistic objective. PraxisUnico has commented on these before and whilst supportive, how they will interact with universities remains to be seen.

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 Additional information

  1. The full PraxisUnico review of the response can be viewed here.
  2. PraxisUnico is the UK’s leading research commercialisation association and a not-for-profit educational organisation set up to support innovation and commercialisation of public sector and charity research for social and economic impact.  PraxisUnico encourages innovation and acts as a voice for the research commercialisation profession, facilitating the interaction between the public sector research base, business and government.  PraxisUnico provides a forum for best practice exchange, underpinned by first-class training and development programmes.