Rosalind Gill, Head of Policy and Engagement at the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) said: “Becoming an innovation nation requires the UK to attract, start and scale more innovative businesses. The raft of measures to pour more capital into UK science and technology companies are hugely welcome, as is the dedication of £20 million to support university spin-outs specifically. Today’s announcements will help us move towards greater prosperity.”

Gill continued: “We are also pleased that the Chancellor recognised Lord Harrington’s recommendations to attract foreign direct investment, with measures to make investment into the UK more attractive, but also better communicated and easier. Permanently committing to full expensing of business investment is an important move to boost levels of investment.”

Gill concluded: “However, a barrier to growth is lack of consistent focus on specific economic strengths. The UK cannot be world leading in every area of scientific advancement. Therefore, to distinguish itself from the major global trading blocks of the US, Europe and China, the UK must make, and commit to, choices about the areas where it does want to establish a world leading status. Attempts to prioritise strengths through a succession of strategies have failed to gain momentum or longevity. The UK needs a clear, long-term economic plan, genuinely shaped collectively by businesses, universities and policy makers.”