A strong and fit for purpose research and development (R&D) tax relief system is essential to unlock private sector innovation and UK science superpower plans, says NCUB in response to the Chancellor’s Spring Statement.

Dr Joe Marshall, Chief Executive of the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) says: “Innovation and skills rightly featured strongly in this year’s Spring Statement as our route to economic growth. Whilst we welcome the Chancellor’s commitments to strengthening UK innovation, it is essential that R&D tax reliefs are not cut in future. Quite the opposite, consultation should be bold and ambitious as the UK strives to become the best place in the world for businesses to invest in research and innovation.

Marshall continued: “This ambition needs to be signalled to businesses now, with a clear commitment that R&D reliefs will be increased and not be cut in the Autumn. Businesses and universities are enduring considerable volatility. We need measures that encourage businesses to invest more on R&D and innovation, which will in turn boost economic growth. We are calling on the Government to deliver higher tax breaks and more investment incentives to help stimulate economic recovery.”

Marshall concluded: “The UK needs to compete in a global R&D and innovation market. Although collaboration with our world class universities does attract and retain globally mobile business R&D investment in the UK, the Government should be encouraging this more through raising incentives. We are calling on the Chancellor to listen to the needs of UK businesses ahead of the Autumn Budget. We hope that future announcements will improve our competitiveness and seize the considerable opportunities of an innovation-driven economy.”