Throughout history, the British have been responsible for many great inventions and are still commonly acknowledged to be among the best in the world when it comes to inventing. Over the past 50 years, according to Japanese research, more than 40 per cent of discoveries taken up on a worldwide basis originated in the United Kingdom.
Many of these British inventions have had an enormous impact on the world. For example, imagine how different life would be today if Michael Faraday had not built the first simple electrical generator or if James Watt had not developed the steam engine?
So if the UK is to rebalance its economy towards more of a manufacturing base, whilst maintaining the service sector what needs to be considered
Education, education, education encouraging hands on activity in problem solving.
Trade skills to be encouraged at every level.
Economic support for apprenticeships.
Intellectual rights protection should be made easier and cheaper.
Prototype production to receive economic support subject to feasibility criteria.
Mentoring and business support to be readily available. Let’s use our silver surfers creatively.
Innovators like James Dyson should be viewed as national heroes and within reason supported at every opportunity rather than suffering bureaucratic interference.
Above all create the infrastructure and outlook that means much of the benefit of innovation remains in the UK rather than being exported.
As a nation we have the intellectual capacity but have lacked the economic and political will and it is time for some joined up thinking.
Let’s put the Great back in Britain. It will take a generation, but it can be done.
Author: Chris Slay
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