Germany 'shows path to industrial recovery'
The Prince's Working Group on Innovation yesterday recommended breaking up the Department of Trade and Industry's centralised programme for helping British industry. Instead, responsibility for economic development should be devolved to powerful agencies in the English regions, modelled on the Scottish Development Agency (SDA).
The group also put forward a network of German technology research centres, the Fraunhofer Institutes, as the best model for bridging the chasm between universities and companies. The Government should set aside more than pounds 170m over five years to set up a new 'Faraday Programme' to provide a flow of ideas between industry and academe.
Although many members of the working group have impeccable Thatcherite credentials - it is chaired by the former Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government, Sir John Fairclough - they believe that only this sort of intervention in the workings of the market will permit small and medium sized companies to be innovative and profitable.
Their model, the SDA, is a relic of socialist planning: it was set up in 1975 by the last Labour government to develop the Scottish economy and improve the environment. Following its merger in 1990 with the Training Agency for Scotland to form Scottish Enterprise, it spends about pounds 450m of government money each year on developing 'a high output, high income and low unemployment economy in Scotland which is sustainable both in economic and environmental terms'.
The working group's report has been forwarded by the Prince of Wales to the appropriate government departments and it is expected that a formal response will come in the White Paper on Science and Technology being prepared by William Waldegrave, the minister responsible for science and technology.
Existing initiatives to promote innovation are 'a patchwork quilt' and 'suffer from lack of resources and sustained commitment, particularly from central government', the report says.
Sir John said there was a lot of money going into the regions, but it was fragmented and diffuse. The group saw the regional development agencies as 'an integrating force at the community level'.
But the report foresees problems in establishing sufficiently powerful regional development agencies in England. In contrast to Scotland, where the SDA deals directly with the Scottish Office, setting up the English regional agencies 'would require collaboration between three departments: Trade and Industry, Employment, and Environment.
The Working Group on Innovation - Final Report; Centre for the Exploitation of Science and Technology, 5 Berners Road, London N1 0PW.
- 1 Florida man sentenced to two-and-a-half years for having sex on the beach in front of a child
- 2 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 4 World learns of app that shows you who unfriended you on Facebook, app promptly crashes
- 5 Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
Florida man sentenced to two-and-a-half years for having sex on the beach in front of a child
Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
Man who was struck and killed by lightning in Brecon Beacons 'was carrying a selfie stick'
Greece debt crisis as it happened: EU chiefs at loggerheads hours before Alexis Tsipras’s last ditch deal proposals
Bakery sends 'horrific' version of Frozen-themed birthday cake to unsuspecting customer
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts
Greece debt crisis: Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande issue Athens with 24-hour ultimatum to avoid crashing out of the euro
Greece crisis: Referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its lack of genuine legitimacy
£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Analyst is required ...
£16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To succeed, you will need to ha...
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...
£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...