The Chamber of British Industry (CBI) has called on the government to put the development of intellectual property (IP) at the very front of its agenda, saying this is the best way to stimulate the economy – and if its hoped-for initiatives are even in part pushed through, innovative small businesses could find themselves more supported than ever before.
As part of a six-point plan, the CBI urges the government to establish reliable routes for small firms focused on creating new IP to access finance. It stresses the importance of IP and idea development to the economy and calls for the patenting and trademarking processes to be made ‘fit for purpose’.
It also suggests every government policy should be assessed on how many investment or idea development opportunities it opens up for businesses. And in encouraging news for companies seeking financial aid for research work, it proposes an extension of the research and development (R&D) tax credit system, to encourage the development of new IP.
“We want to see future tax changes have to pass a test, which is: 'Will it make the UK a more attractive place for businesses to invest in, develop and exploit IP?' ” said CBI president Helen Alexander at the organisation’s East of England annual dinner last night.
“We must have a stable and competitive tax framework if we’re to incentivise IP development and exploitation. Change and uncertainty undermine the confidence of those making long-term investment decisions.
“We currently have a strong R&D tax credit scheme. But other countries are fast catching up, and are becoming more innovative in how they set tax structures to encourage IP development.”
Alexander added that ‘any plans to remove the UK’s R&D tax credit should be rejected out of hand as dangerously short-sighted’.
Here's the plan in full:
All welcome news for IP-focused small businesses. Let’s just hope the government takes these messages on board.