Innovation 'starts in education'

14 Mar 2008 • by Natalie Aster

The key to the UK becoming a world leader in innovation is to forge closer links between industry and higher education, says the government, reported The BBC.

A White Paper outlines the government's vision for the UK to become an "innovation nation".

A range of initiatives is intended to help small businesses to link up with universities and colleges to develop new products and services.

Conservative critics say the proposals are too little too late.

The Innovation Nation White Paper sets out how businesses and people in the UK are best placed to benefit from the new opportunities and prosperity created by the demand for innovation.

Launching the document the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, John Denham, said: "We must make the UK the best place in the world to run an innovative business or public service, where innovation can flourish across every area of the economy.

"It is the British people who will create a world beating innovation nation and that is why we must unlock talent at all levels by investing in skills, research and the exploitation of knowledge."

The strategy is the first to focus on innovation policy since the creation of the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (Dius) and addresses some of the themes raised by Lord Sainsbury in his review of the government's science and innovation policies in October 2007.