A combination of measures announced in the budget today will create new opportunities for innovative start-ups and will help unlock private investment.

However, these measures must be underpinned by a collaborative and sustainable university sector to succeed says the National Centre for Universities and Business, the collective voice of UK business and universities. Today’s announcements set an economic growth goal of 2.5% and seek to drive up private investment through targeted tax and regulatory measures.

Commenting on the Growth Plan and Budget, Dr Joe Marshall, Chief Executive of the NCUB, said: “The opening sections of the Growth Plan rightly identify the UK’s world-leading universities as a structural economic strength. Innovation is built up from a foundation of ideas and knowledge generated through research and people. Beyond our tax and regulatory frameworks, our highly skilled people and knowledge-intensive institutions attract global investment. Universities play a critical role in this.”

Marshall continued: “However, whilst the strength of our university sector must be leveraged, it must also not be assumed. Strategic public investment in education, research and collaboration is essential. UK public spending on research lags behind competitors, and universities are facing significant inflationary pressures on their finances. The Government must be bold and ambitious in its plans to invest in its strengths so they can be relied upon to underpin long-term growth. This requires setting out a clear and long-term plan to bring public research spending in line with our competitors, and to ensure fair and sustainable funding for higher education that will help to deliver the entrepreneurial and innovative workforce needed by the UK economy.”