Business innovation 'booming in the UK'

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Great business ideas are booming in the UK

The UK's business sector is bursting with new ideas and innovative new products and services.

This is the conclusion of research published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), which showed that more than half (53 per cent) of UK firms have attempted to bring new products and ways of working to the fore in recent years.

Based on the responses of more than 30,000 UK firms during the course of a two-year survey period, the BIS data highlighted how one-quarter of respondents stated that technological innovation was key to their company success, while for two-fifths the key was to "engage in new business practices".

Furthermore, 40 per cent of companies that claimed to be in the process of driving innovation said they are more able to achieve their goals through collaboration with outside parties, be they through academia or other companies.

The main drivers of innovation activities across the UK right now were shown to be:

  • Improving the quality of goods and services (34 per cent)
  • Replacing outdated products or processes (31 per cent)
  • Increasing the range of goods or services (29 per cent)
  • Increasing market share (26 per cent)
  • Increasing value added (24 per cent)
  • Entering new markets (20 per cent)
  • Improving capacity for producing goods or services (18 per cent)
  • Reducing costs per unit produced or provided (18 per cent)
  • Improving flexibility for producing goods or services (17 per cent)
  • Meeting regulatory requirements (17 per cent)
  • Reducing environmental impact (12 per cent)
  • Improving health and safety (9 per cent)

Across the UK, regional differences were also recorded in the statistical analysis, with the Yorkshire and Humber area leading the way in terms of the percentage of firms involved in innovative activities (65 per cent).

Other standout areas of the nation were the south-east (58 per cent), the East Midlands (57 per cent) and London (56 per cent).

Responding to the report, business secretary Sajid Javid said: "From new disruptive business models to driverless cars, innovation can not only revolutionise the way we live our lives, it can bring real opportunities for businesses to tap into and grow. That is why we are determined to make the UK the best place in Europe to innovate and start a company.

"And these figures show that businesses throughout the UK are already leading the way, delivering exciting opportunities across the nation."