With the?UK?lagging behind international rivals when it comes to spending on research and development (R&D), Osborne has gone into more detail on how the government will be tackling the issue. Compared to the 2.8 per cent of GDP spent on R&D in the US and Germany, and 2.2 per cent in France, the UK maintains a mere 1.6 per cent ? which doesn’t meet the agreed European target of three per cent.These figures come off the back of a Nesta report, which claimed that it would take more than ?20bn of additional investment to close the gap. This was echoed by BIS economist Tera Allas who, in a report benchmarking the UK’s Innovation system, said Britain had “a sustained, long-term pattern of under-investment in public and private R&D. According to Nesta, to generate a Northern Powerhouse Osborne?will need to focus that investment on the sort of development and commercialisation spending that is most closely linked to business investment; and look beyond R&D to areas like design and digital skills that are critical for innovation in UK strengths like creative industries. Osborne?s plan to boost the economy by linking northern cities has been touched upon in recent Budgets, where he acknowledged that fuelling science and innovation would be key. “Durham, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and York and more ? the north is blessed with world class universities,” he said. “These universities have been at the forefront of the urban renaissance here over the last three decades.” Furthermore, in his 2014 speech he announced the National Biologics Industrial Innovation Centre in Teeside will make it one of the best locations for life sciences. And the new Materials Innovation Factory at Liverpool University puts Britain at the cutting edge in manufacturing the materials of the future. “We?re determined to cure the British disease of inventing things but letting others get the commercial benefit from them, with our new Catapult technology centres,” Osborne said.? He added: ?But that is just the start.? His latest move involves giving train travel a ?seamless Oyster-style? ticketing system, as well as setting??30m aside to further boost the project. Read more from our summer Budget commentary:
- George Osborne says tax dodgers have ?nowhere to hide?
- George Osborne adds more detail to Northern Powerhouse plans
- Compulsory national living wage gets mixed reception
- George Osborne permanently fixes Annual Investment Allowance at ?200,000
- Cut in corporation tax welcomed by British businesses
- Apprenticeship levy so firms ?get back more than they put in?
- Roads Fund introduced as part of the plan to boost productivity
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