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Withholding Prosperity: Highlighting Key Areas for UK Policy Development in Intellectual Property




CBI Economics’ new report, Prosperity Pending, begins with low-cost spending on research and development (R&D) for both businesses and governments, highlighting some of the gaps in the UK’s current performance in creating company-specific IPs.

The analysis points to a number of areas for policy development that will allow UK companies to unlock their potential to invest in IP in the UK and fully realize the UK’s potential to capitalize on academic success.

Commercializing ideas in the early stages of the R&D process to transform academic research into commercial deliverables, increase expenditure on development, encourage collaboration, and encourage IP creation. Increase the share of disruptive innovation and high-growth SMEs. This is an area of ​​untapped potential for the UK to demonstrate leadership among its international peers. Develop and expand your UK patent box to encourage patents and other IP-related activities. Policy is critical to ensuring companies have confidence in their investments in R&D and IP, and the UK is incorporating the patent box into broad support for innovation and investment, and providing more accessible options for acquiring IP rights. You can do more for it (in addition to patents), especially for SMEs.

This analysis is a particularly important time for UK policymakers who cited innovation as one of the key drivers of their post-COVID economic recovery plan.

Implications for business

The UK can benefit significantly from helping UK companies develop and bring the following ideas to market:

Strengthening international competitiveness for investment Accelerating the development of solutions to social and environmental issues Promote economic growth and prosperity.

There is evidence that the UK needs a balanced and integrated policy environment for innovation in order for UK companies to encourage IP investment and attract foreign IP investment. This includes supporting and activating your business to succeed at every stage of the R&D life cycle. Therefore, policy intervention must be tailored to the needs of the business at each stage.

A specific area of ​​unexplored potential identified in the study is unlocking the SME contribution to IP creation by recognizing the unique challenges faced by small businesses that are hindering them from realizing their full potential. Thus, policies have a role to play in addressing these barriers to create more value from R&D by increasing the share of small and medium-sized businesses, which are usually characterized by high growth, and helping them commercialize their ideas.

The CBI economics analysis also suggests that the current patent box framework is not reaching its full potential. The UK has one of the most developed patent boxes, but the presence of this support is not reflected in IP strength. Thus, the UK patent box could play a larger role in driving IP investment in the UK as its scope expands to include other forms of IP (in addition to patents). Improving the patent box process and providing a more accessible form of IP rights will help encourage small and medium-sized businesses to apply for IP.

The case of policy action is clear. However, there are no silver bullets that do this. Closing this gap requires policy support packages and action from the business community. Good policy development and implementation is often difficult and further investigation is required to assess the effectiveness of policy interventions to achieve this goal.

If you have any questions regarding this study, please contact CBI Chief Economist Adriana Curca: [email protected], +44 (0) 7713 505 811.

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