Dec 14, 2018
Innovation can deliver a range of economic and wider benefits to the UK. A number of conditions, and their interaction, are deemed critical to the translation and innovation process across sectors. Policy interventions can support innovation. However, the lack of rigorous, independent evaluations in some sectors, as well as robust innovation metrics, makes it hard to draw evidence-based conclusions as to their effectiveness.
The process of innovation is essential in developing research discoveries into new and improved products, services and approaches. Investing in research and innovation (R&I) delivers a range of economic and wider benefits to the UK, including benefits to culture, public engagement, social cohesion and the environment, amongst others. As the UK government works towards its commitment to increase investment in research and development (R&D) to 2.4 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2027, there is a need for better evidence on where to invest the funding and maximise its impact.
RAND Europe conducted an evidence synthesis to understand the conditions needed to ensure the continued excellence of the UK's outstanding research and innovation base. Our review and evidence synthesis found that a number of conditions, and their interaction, are deemed critical to the translation and innovation process across sectors. Innovation is supported by a wider innovation system, which consists of drivers, input factors (knowledge, talent and capital), enabling resources (networks/connections and infrastructure) and institutional factors (structures and culture). Many policy interventions exist to support the generation and diffusion of innovation by fostering an effective translation and innovation system. However, the lack of rigorous, independent evaluations, as well as robust innovation metrics, makes it hard to draw evidence-based conclusions as to the effectiveness of policy interventions. There are also a number of challenges to the translation and innovation process; in particular, lack of clarity about user needs and stable access to capital throughout the innovation process were commonly identified.
Pathways help to illustrate and manage the translation of ideas into application
A range of conditions are needed to support the translation of research and to drive innovation
There are various policy interventions that aim to improve the conditions for innovation, but there is limited application and evidence as to what works
Further steps are needed to assist translation and drive innovation
Overview of conditions that enable translation and drive innovation
The pharmaceutical and life sciences sector
The defence sector
The fintech sector
The creative economy