According to a report last week from the Science and Technology Committee, the Government does not have a coherent strategy to support the commercialisation of technological innovation in the UK and is failing to secure the full economic benefits of our world-class science base.
Committee Chair Andrew Miller said that British entrepreneurs are being badly let down by a lack of access to financial support and a system that often forces them to sell out to private equity investors or larger foreign companies to get ideas off the ground.
The report says UK technology companies are effectively being forced to seek private equity investment because there is no coherent innovation policy and not enough being done to leverage academic research into economic benefits.
The report found evidence that small start-up technology firms are frequently being bought up by larger overseas companies before they can develop into enterprises that would produce jobs and wealth in the UK.
This is often because finding funding is a major problem and Government grant funding is often bureaucratic to apply for and only enough to “get an idea off the ground”.
The report says the Government needs to look at how it can provide the infrastructure to support innovation by ensuring small technology firms have access to finance, facilities and advice.
Mr Miller said that the UK has terrific potential in its technology sector and science base, but small and medium-sized businesses need better support to commercialise their ideas and get them to market.
He added that he wants the Government to recognise that it needs to be more proactive if it wants to secure long-term growth and competitiveness in the country.
London accountant, Russell Black specialises in offering accountancy, audit and taxation advice to business start-ups.