In December’s Spending Review, two big changes were announced to the way that the UK’s innovation agency operates. First, Innovate UK has been asked to convert a considerable proportion of its funding portfolio from grants into loans or other new finance products. Second, it was proposed that Innovate UK should be integrated in some way into Research UK, a new umbrella body that is being created to better coordinate the UK’s seven academic research councils.
Little detail has yet been provided about how either of these changes will work in practice. We therefore thought it would be a good time to offer our thoughts on the implications for Innovate UK, and whether they are likely to help or hinder its ability to support innovative businesses. This short note draws on what we have learned from our study of innovation agencies around the world, as part of a report we will be publishing later in 2016.
Photo credit: Dennis Skley (Creative Commons)