The Midlands has suffered from long-term public sector underinvestment in R&D, despite striving to maintain and grow its private sector investment. The Government must match private sector investment in the Midlands at the same levels as it does for the rest of the UK, supporting initiatives such as the Speed to Scale programme.
To scale our innovative and entrepreneurial SME’s we need to provide financial protection so they can take on bigger challenges and to move from start-up to scale-up through an improved growth capital programme.
Our proposal is to create a ‘Midlands Equity Fund’ through the Midlands Engine, linked with a German style Sparkassen savings group environment established by the banking sector.
In addition to direct a simplified approach to more direct funding mechanisms we will need to have a unifying agenda and consistent, coordinated intervention and a balanced and enhanced package of support including capital allowances, R&D credits, access to growth capital and patient capital.
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"There are many support and funding programmes available both locally and regionally, and the challenge is to ensure that they are less fragmented and provide a springboard for businesses to innovate and compete nationally and internationally."