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Scientists are customers too

This paper argues that the UK Research Councils should participate in the SBRI in order to drive economic growth.

This paper argues that the UK Research Councils should participate in the SBRI in order to drive economic growth.

Key findings:

  • The research tools industry is the kind of industry we need to support if we are to rebuild a competitive UK manufacturing sector.
  • When scientists act as ‘lead customers’ – by defining or funding the development of the products they need – they give their suppliers the opportunity to create new products that can be sold internationally.
  • The UK Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) is an innovation-based procurement programme designed to help public sector bodies to act as ‘innovative customers.’
  • By participating in the SBRI, the UK Research Councils could promote the research tools industry, thereby making a significant contribution both to UK exports and the economic recovery. 

Many in research-intensive universities have lobbied for a more effective approach to the UK Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI). This paper proposes a very practical way in which we could be better engaged both as customers for new scientific products and research tools, and as potential innovators in shaping those products.

 

Author:
David Connell