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Thursday, 21 August 2014

Lib Dems will support innovative UK businesses

The Liberal Democrats would support innovation with a package of measures designed to help cutting edge UK businesses under manifesto plans. The plans include ringfencing the science research budget, and the introduction of a green innovation arm to the British Business Bank. It also includes further support for the ‘Catapult’ programme, which bridges the gap between universities, research institutions and business through £100m of funding over the next Parliament.

The green innovation arm of the British Business Bank would deliver a significant expansion of innovation funding in the UK green technology sector which would help maintain Britain’s position as a world leader in this important and developing area. Recently Vince Cable launched the driverless cars developments, which had benefited from this programme. 

The announcement comes after Vince Cable demanded that the £4.6bn science research budget was ringfenced. This funding is mainly allocated through universities and science research councils. The party say they believe that continuing to ringfence this over the next parliament respects the long term nature of the projects funded and will help support Britain’s innovation research.

Vince Cable, Liberal Democrat Business Secretary said: "Supporting innovative businesses is crucial to building a stronger economy in Britain. There are hundreds of businesses and individuals across the country with a good idea, pioneering groundbreaking research or working tirelessly to bring their product to market. In Government we have fought to protect funding for these innovations, and we will continue to do so in the next Parliament. We will not allow others scrap this vital funding because of a short term outlook, rather than invest in the people who are building the businesses of tomorrow.

"Liberal Democrats recognise that providing the support that these businesses need is central to our work to build a stronger economy and a fairer society where there is opportunity for everyone to get on in life."