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CSR must demonstrate long-term commitment to the knowledge economy, according to The Work Foundation

Gideon Benari

01 October 2010

Under embargo until: 00.01hrs Friday 1 October 2010

A submission by The Work Foundation to the Treasury for its Comprehensive Spending Review is calling on the government to make a firm, long-term commitment to support growth in knowledge based industries.

To construct a credible plan for sustainable economic recovery the CSR must show exactly how growth, investment and new jobs will be achieved, and the government should commit a decade of funding to the following sectors:

  • science, technology, research & development, design and the creative sector
  • higher education
  • public investment in the physical, energy and digital infrastructures

Associate director Ian Brinkley said, "The UK's reliance on the knowledge economy as a driving force of the recovery has never been greater. The submission shows that over the past 30 years, knowledge intensive services have provided the highest levels of new jobs. But for this potential to be realised, the government must make a long-term commitment to support the right areas of the knowledge economy through the most effective tactics."

The submission also proposes the creation of an annual Comprehensive Innovation Review, alongside the CSR, to build up an effective innovation system mechanism to maximise the positive impact on the economy over the next decade. This would include:

  • a strengthening of technology transfer from universities to the market via fewer, more focussed and better funded intermediary institutions
  • targeted initiatives to strengthen the UK's capabilities in the creative industries and other areas
  • the instigation of a financial and skills system with specialised support for innovation and entrepreneurship

Brinkley added, "To meet continuing rising demand for higher knowledge intensive skills, the higher and further education system must continue to expand capacity. Without sacrificing quality, this expansion must include a more significant contribution from the private sector. While student fees will need to increase, an overhaul of the student loan system will be essential and universities will need to be freed up from restrictions in setting fees.

The evidence we have been gathering in recent years clearly demonstrates how important the knowledge economy has become in terms of where most of the new jobs are being generated. But more importantly, patterns from recent recessions show how key the knowledge economy is to recovery. The paper we have submitted to the Treasury sets out in detail exactly which policies will ensure that rich opportunities are not being squandered or completely missed."

ENDS

Notes to editors

  1. Knowledge Economy strategy 2020: The Work Foundation submission to the Comprehensive Spending Review by Ian Brinkley is available at www.theworkfoundation.com. by Ian Brinkley is available at .
  2. by Ian Brinkley is available at .
  3. This paper is produced as part of The Work Foundation's Knowledge Economy programme: http://www.theworkfoundation.com/research/keconomy.aspx.
  4. Ian Brinkley is available for interviews and briefings. is available for interviews and briefings.
  5. The Work Foundation is the leading independent authority on work and its future. It aims to improve the quality of working life and the effectiveness of organisations by equipping leaders, policymakers and opinion-formers with evidence, advice, new thinking and networks.
  6. TheĀ WorkWorld Media Awards 2010 call for submissions is open until 1 November.