Industry body EEF has cautioned against cutting spending to Innovate UK ahead of the government’s Spending Review, to be announced next week.
The Yorkshire Post and others report that the EEF said balancing the books was important, but it shouldn’t lead to uncertainty among businesses that account for nearly half of exports and over two-thirds of R&D spending.
Innovate UK’s annual budget is £600 million, and it supports programmes such as the catapult initiative (on which the Australian Growth Centres initiative is loosely based).
Of the programme’s budget, £72 million is for high-value manufacturing.
R&D tax credit claims, notes The Independent, amounted to £1.75 billion in 2013-14, with 37 per cent going to the manufacturing sector.
EEF said cuts to the funding of programmes would damage certainty at a critical time for the industry.
“We’ve got an ecosystem that manufacturers are starting to understand and the UK is becoming more competitive internationally,” EEF chief economist Lee Hopley told The Guardian.
“We are not looking for emergency measures, but a stable, predictable business environment.”