A new report released by the Government has set out a strategy that attempts to harness and achieve better value from £104 billion worth of innovation and knowledge assets within central Government
The recently released Mackintosh Report covers a wide gambit of innovations developed by the Government and its partners, including many of the UK’s leading academic and research institutions.
The report states: “The UK’s public sector is a remarkable source of innovation. It is bursting with potential, and rich with ideas and insights that could help to shape the future of our country as we emerge from the coronavirus pandemic.
“However, we need to manage these so-called ‘knowledge assets’ wisely. Only by investing in them properly – giving them the attention and resources they need – will they deliver the enormous benefits they offer to our economy and society, boosting productivity and improving the quality of life in the UK.”
According to the report, up to £104 billion of knowledge assets are held by central Government, which currently achieve little value beyond their intended purpose.
Under the report’s strategy, the first step is to establish and share good practice for knowledge asset management within the public sector, which will include new guidance for organisations on how to “identity, manage and derive maximum value from public sector knowledge assets”.
Following on from this, the Government will establish a new knowledge and innovation assets bank, which will “share intelligence on high potential opportunities across government, allowing knowledge asset holders and innovators to connect and pursue opportunities”.
To assist with the creation of this bank a new department will be created, called the Government Office for Technology Transfer, which will work with the public sector to identify promising knowledge asset opportunities and offer specialist support.
The idea of utilising knowledge assets within government was first suggested in a report published alongside the 2018 Budget, and this latest report follows on from that original idea.
“Underpinning this implementation strategy is a vision where public sector organisations use the knowledge, skills and capabilities they develop while fulfilling their public purpose to have broader applicability and impact, thereby catalysing innovation, driving productivity and growth, and improving public services and finances,” said the report.
This latest strategy is part of a wider campaign within Whitehall to improve the use of public and private research and development to boost the economy as it emerges out of the pandemic.
At the heart of support for the private sector remains the UK’s generous R&D tax credit system, which continues to support innovation across the country.
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