02 Mar 2015
The university think-tank million+ has welcomed the publication today (2 March) of a new report by the All Party Parliamentary Small Business Group which conducted an inquiry into productivity and small firms. The think-tank submitted evidence to the inquiry and Pam Tatlow, the Chief Executive of million+, appeared before MPs to answer questions. The Report adopts proposals put forward by million+ and concludes that the government should seriously consider “the option of introducing a dedicated translational funding stream to support greater collaboration between universities and businesses”. The MPs also say that a UK Small Business Administration (SBA) with a direct reporting line into Downing Street or the Cabinet Office should be set-up and that the structure of the Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) should be reviewed – proposals put forward and supported by million+ and the Federation of Small Businesses.
Pam Tatlow, Chief Executive of million+ who gave evidence to the Inquiry said:
“Local economies benefit when universities can use their research and expertise to help small businesses but smaller companies often find it difficult to find the funding to engage.
“The next government should boost the role of universities in regional growth by investing in a new stream of funding for translational research geared at universities which do not get so much taxpayer-funded support for research.
“There is also a strong case to establish a new Small Business Agency on the lines promoted by the Obama administration in the United States where the agency focused on US states with lower growth rates and helped to draw in equity to underpin investment and university collaborations with businesses.
“Together with a Business Bank with a regional focus, this could help smaller businesses and also address some of the long-standing imbalances in regional growth which have seen London and the South East consistently outstrip the rest of the country in terms of the economic activity and the recovery.”
Notes to Editors