Highlighting the importance of technological progress in driving economic growth in a major industrialised economy. - Intecom

It is impossible to overstate the importance of research, development and innovation to any technologically advanced economy.  Technical development is the engine which drives growth, maintains market share and, ultimately, determines whether a nation such as the UK is able to maintain or improve its position as a serious economic player on the world stage.

For example, as air travel becomes increasingly important in developing world markets and in exporting goods and services around the globe, firms look to the government to ensure that airport capacity and access is maintained to facilitate economic growth and encourage location and development in the UK. 

Aeroplane Technical Development in the UK

The UK was at the forefront of the rapid acceleration of industrial technology in the 18th and early 19th Centuries - the Industrial Revolution.  The factors which provided the pre-conditions for that rapid innovation and development are still as important today.  Even a nation at the leading edge of world technology can, unless it continues to innovate and develop, lapse into stagnation and complacency thereby losing its economic advantage and status.

Some of the conditions which exist as pre-requisites for technological advance, such as the ready availability of finance, market development and the establishment and maintenance of a stable society and a skilled, adaptable and well educated workforce, confer a significant advantage on those economies which have acquired the habit of innovation and development.  The modern UK has been in the fortunate position of being able to exploit the legacy which results from its historic position as a major world industrial and economic power. However, if this position is to be maintained, it is vital that industry retains the flexibility to innovate and develop products to ensure that goods and services are provided which meet customers’ requirements with an attractive level of quality, service and price which not only match but exceed those available elsewhere in the global market place.

Research, development, innovation and market development in terms of the provision of products and services remains primarily the province of individual firms and organisations.  However, governments have a vital role to play in maintaining the infrastructure which underpins economic and technical development and growth. 

Governments play a pre-eminent role in ensuring that fiscal and financial arrangements encourage development and innovation in the UK rather than elsewhere in the global village, and that growth is sustainable and encouraged for the long term.

The UK must ensure that the symbiotic relationship between manufacturers and service providers and the Government continues to function to the best advantage if its position as a leading provider of goods and services to the world is to continue to grow and develop in the future.