UK business innovation is on the rise, government says

A report from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills shows that 53% of UK businesses are now described as innovative.

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Business innovation in the UK is increasing, according to a new government report.

The UK Innovation Survey 2015 shows that 53% of UK businesses are defined as innovative – which the report classifies as introducing new products, processes or marketing strategies, compared to 45% in the 2013 survey.

The report, from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, shows that innovation is highest in the manufacturing sector, followed by the distribution and services sector and the wholesale trade sector.

19% of businesses invest in innovation

The research also shows that while 19% of businesses used product innovation, 27% reported new business practices, 20% implement new organisational strategies and 16% announced new marketing concepts or strategies.

Of all the money spent by businesses on innovation in 2014, 7% of this was spent on design, according to the report. The biggest sectors for expenditure were internal R&D (42%) and acquisition of capital (29%).

Finance is greatest threat to innovation

Business said that the biggest barriers to innovation were the availability of finance (17%), costs (15%) and economic risks (14%).

A statement from BIS says: “Business innovation is a vital ingredient in raising the productivity, competitiveness and growth potential of modern economies.

“Providing the right economic conditions for, and using appropriate policy instruments to encourage innovation in the UK is a central objective.”

The survey is part of a wider Community Innovation Survey covering European Union countries. The full results will be published later this year.

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