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Government must invest in innovation, CBI says

The calls come following revelations the UK's R&D spending is the lowest among all G8 countries

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The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has called for the government to invest more in innovation and science after a report has revealed the UK spent less money than any other G8 country on R&D over the last year.

The Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) recommended the government ups spending on the sectors to three per cent of the country's GDP from where it currently stands at 0.49 per cent, but it also needs a hard-hitting strategy to support the cash injection.

The CBI has also asked for the government to double the budget for Innovate UK, which aims to generate innovation in the UK's business sectors, supported by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills.

"Our research shows that innovation investment has never been more important, given its effect on enhancing productivity," John Cridland, CBI Director-General, said. "While our economy is doing well, we must not be complacent, as we cannot afford to rest on our laurels while our peers pace ahead.

"Instead we need to build on our research excellence by fuelling the UK's innovation ecosystem with investment, fresh ideas and skills."

The CBI's Autumn Statement issued to the government has requested additional support when it comes to innovation in the UK.

It explained a more coherent framework is needed that would encourage entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes to develop long-term projects that demonstrate the scope of the country's expertise.

To motivate businesses to think more innovatively, the government needs to re-consider business rates to make organisations want to develop ideas, the CBI claimed. Making the process to apply for business rates simpler, fairer and more competitive will have favourable results, it added.

"With the UK's research and development spending the lowest among the G8, we are falling ever further behind our international competitors and must take action so that we lead from the front," Cridland finished.

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