This week PM Rishi Sunak made a major speech to business leaders at the CBI following the previous week’s Autumn Statement, which outlined his strategy for business during his premiership. Mr Sunak put innovation at the heart of his speech, claiming that it was the solution to building a better country, and wants to ensure that it permeates every aspect of life in this country.
In naming how we embed innovation in our country, Mr Sunak stated the need to harness innovation to drive economic growth and weave it deeply into public services, particularly the NHS.
Mr Sunak declared that the starting point for firing up the UK’s innovation engine is “government investment in basic science and research”. He went on to namecheck the protection of the R&D budget in last week’s Autumn Statement as an example of this, as well as investment in the new Advanced Research and Invention Agency and tax-cutting for large businesses to conduct research and development.
He then turned to regulatory reforms. Brexit freedoms now mean that the UK will pursue “the most pro-innovation regulatory environment in the world… in sectors like life sciences”. He also pledged to help small businesses to grow, citing the Help to Grow and Made Smarter initiatives as evidence of his commitment.
Moving on to public services, Mr Sunak stated that, within the NHS, “better care requires innovation” and it was essential that we “radically innovate in how we do things.” Only by doing this can the NHS deliver better services and make money go further. Community Diagnostic Centres were an excellent start, he claimed, but the Government must do more.
You can read the Prime Minister’s full speech here.