Britain has failed to get a single entry in a list of the world’s 100 most innovative companies in the Thomson Reuters’ Top 100 Global Innovators report published earlier this week.

US companies took 45 of the top 100 places, Japan is the next biggest innovator with 28 entries and Europe’s total is 22. The European country with the most entries is France with 12, despite David Cameron’s claim that France’s high tax rates would deter investment and send businesses to Britain.

The report said Britain’s absence reflected low spending on research and development and concentration on services and finance.

When is the government going to wake up and pay notice to figures like this and make more efforts to encourage innovation through taxation breaks like all the other countries at the top of this table; such moves would do so much to help restore Britain’s place in the world and stimulate the UK economy?

Is this an issue that the IMechE and IET should join together on to produce a joint response aimed at bringing the findings of this hugely concerning report to attention of the government?

I discovered the findings of this report at the bottom of a page at the back of one of the major daily national newspapers; this is as concerning as the findings itself. The IMechE and IET together represent over 250 thousand professional Engineers and Technologists, a significant voice to lobby and influence politicians who can begin influence this situation.

In his inaugural address last week, the new President of the IET, Barry Brooks, took British Innovation as the key theme of his speech; this was broadcast live and is still available now on this site. Also at the last IMechE Council meeting I chaired a debate which asked the asked the question, ‘Innovation is an area where we fail to deliver properly. How do we improve our technical delivery?’, so the issue is very much alive within both Institutions.

My suggestion is that both the IMechE and IET combine together, now, to issue a response to the findings of this report, the purpose of this will be threefold; firstly, to provide greater awareness of the concerning findings of this report; secondly, to influence government and public opinion on what should be done to improve the current situation; and thirdly, to show that the Engineering Professions are able to come together and talk as one voice.

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