Nor has [the last two decades’] policy framework been without positive results. Its successes include some substantial inward investment into the UK, which has led to a relatively high proportion of UK R&D being foreign-funded. The university science base is strong, well connected with industry, and there has been growing spin-out activity. But this has not been enough. Business-sponsored R&D continues its relative decline and university spin-outs seem unable to reach the scale required to make an impact on the wider economy.
It is time to admit that supply-side innovation policy is not enough, and that we need somehow to generate the demand for technological innovation that our current political economy doesn’t provide.