Sharon Todd calls for government to adopt SCI Manifesto in The Economist today

Illustration: Dan Williams for The Economist

4 October 2023


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Writing in The Economist today, SCI CEO Sharon Todd calls for political parties to act before it is too late.

Sharon Todd, CEO of SCI, has today written in The Economist that Britain urgently needs an industrial strategy for science and innovation in order to remain competitive in the global economy.

She highlights the findings of research conducted by LEK Consulting, commissioned by SCI, which shows that Britain is already losing out on £230bn ($280bn) of gross value added (GVA) and 240,000 jobs by 2030 in the life sciences and clean tech sectors alone without a detailed, focused industrial strategy.

SCI has developed a Manifesto for an Industrial Science & Innovation Strategy, which provides a policy framework for the entire life cycle of science, from the genesis of an idea to making sure that any mass production, years later, takes place in Britain.

SCI's Manifesto for An Industrial Science and Innovation Strategy
Download SCI's Manifesto for an Industrial Science & Innovation Strategy here.

The manifesto includes a number of proposals, including:

  • The creation of an Innovation & Science Growth Council, with a direct line to the prime minister, to advise ministers on the most effective ways of commercialising Britain’s best research and development (R&D)
  • A simplification of R&D for scientific companies of all sizes with a single, more investor-friendly tax-relief system
  • An increase in annual public R&D spending to a minimum of 0.6% of GDP, the OECD average
  • Reform of the visa system to attract and retain skilled scientists
  • A review of the use of technology transfer offices (TTOs) to ensure they are not taking too much equity from startups
  • Simplification and loosening of rules on early-stage capital and allowances to encourage investment in science businesses
  • Pooling of pension assets and loosening of rules preventing funds from investing in startups and scaleups
  • Tax incentives to encourage the construction of large production facilities and investments that help Britain meet its greenhouse-gas-reduction targets

Sharon urges parties of all political hues to adopt SCI's recommendations ‘before it is too late for our economy’.

Notes to editors:

About SCI: where science meets business
SCI, a charity established in 1881, is an industrial innovation hub connecting industry, academia, and government to accelerate science-based solutions to the big societal challenges. Our community has over $500bn of sales and invests over $30bn in research and development globally every year and is at the coalface of working on solutions to climate change, global health, and sustainability.

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