Cable's Incentive To Turn R&D into Products

Business secretary Vince Cable said on Thursday that the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is using recommendations from a March report by entrepreneur James Dyson as "a blueprint" to bring innovative ideas to market.

"There were a lot of recommendations from Mr Dyson," said Cable. "We have a blueprint [for action], and detailed work is being done."

Dyson's ideas, put forward in a Conservative position paper before the general election, include: promoting collaboration between companies, not-for-profits and universities; encouraging lending by banks; and giving tax credits to high-tech companies engaged in research and development.

Cable noted that certain academic institutions, such as Isis Innovation at the University of Oxford, have already been successful at taking the fruits of their research to market. However, BIS wants to consult further with experts on ideas to make commercial success from research more widespread, he said.

"I want to talk to [people with] good brains, and see what we can come up with," said Cable. "Getting this going on a bigger scale requires a lot of thought, and I don't have any silver bullets."

The previous business secretary, Peter Mandelson, said in March that the previous government would support a network of technology and innovation centres, modelled on the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany. A BIS spokesperson said on Friday that the department's consultation would include in its scope the idea of these kinds of clusters of technology innovation.

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