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Keep calm and carry on innovating

19 January 2021

Innovation is our clearest route to long-term economic recovery. But even for one of the most entrepreneurial parts of the country, how do we maintain momentum in commercialising ideas during a sustained period of high risk brought about by economic crises, financial pressures and changing government policy?

Register today, to join sessions at this month’s Innovate Local three-day conference starting on 26 January to hear more from innovation experts about funding, finance options and connections to keep British businesses profiting from innovation. 

In the context of 2021, our businesses are tackling multiple challenges which can each make or break their decisions to invest in R&D. The anniversary of the coronavirus health crisis, the global economic slowdown brought about as a result and, the fact that we must act now to get to grips with new trading deals agreed with our closest trading block. Combine these with the internal business pressures entrepreneurs grapple with, such as business forecasting and planning for long-term R&D, cashflow difficulties enhanced when under pressure and, more generally, access to finance for R&D.

Our area’s high technology sectors have proved their innovation and adaptability over the past year. We know though, that R&D suffered during the 2008 economic crisis so, we must ensure that innovation excellence is not set back because of this downturn.

What’s different this time?

This period has seen shifts in major government policies that impact the innovation ecosystem which, for our area, brings as many opportunities as it does risks. For example, a clearer, stronger commitment to reach net zero carbon and sustainability targets as set out in the Government’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution and locally in the Oxford-Cambridge Arc Economic Prospectus and the Local Industrial Strategy all position innovation as central to delivering economic priorities.

If we are to innovate ourselves out of crises, everything must be done to help businesses de-risk decisions to invest.

And that’s where we can help.

SEMLEP has teamed up with the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK to bring their free Innovate Local conference to businesses in Bedfordshire, Milton Keynes and Northamptonshire. Starting at 9.30am on 26 January, this three-day event offers you the chance to connect to Innovate UK, universities and business support providers, as well as like-minded business owners and colleagues in your supply chain through a series of panel discussions, workshops and online networking sessions. You’ll hear about the very best of British R&D, finance options and collaboration opportunities.

Join us by registering here bit.ly/InnovateSEM

As we head into the next financial year, let’s keep calm and carry on innovating.

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