IfM lecturer presents report findings at the 8th Cambridge Enterprise Conference

Tim Minshall

IfM lecturer Dr Tim Minshall presented the findings of a report he co-authored examining the impact of government policy on technology commercialisation since the 1960s at the 8th annual Cambridge Enterprise Conference.


The report, “Funding technology: Britain forty years on”, analyses the development of the UK approach to innovation and enterprise since the 1960s. Key conclusions from the report were:

  • Manufacturing: What is the role of manufacturing in the UK economy now? Key challenges – and opportunities – may be derived from high value-add production processes and the ability to manage fragmented value chains
  • Funding: Can US-style SBIRs (programmes where the public sector acts as a customer for high tech products and services from start-ups) be made to work in the UK? Is there room in the UK for specialist banks supporting innovation and entrepreneurship?
  • Universities: Do we understand the role of universities in a modern economy? Are there too many mixed messages and risk of ‘mission creep’? Can all universities become ‘entrepreneurial’?
  • Policy implementation: Is sufficient attention paid by policymakers in distinguishing between inputs, outputs and outcomes? Are new initiatives really given time to prove themselves?

The conference, “Growing Big Gorillas”, focused on tackling the problem of how to turn promising start-ups in the UK into major corporations. A policy day will now be held to inform government strategy on the support that the technology sector requires to really make a difference.


For further information about the report please see the links below:

Download 'Funding Technology' report

Date published

3 September 2007

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