Leaving aside the fact that it is an election year, and rhetoric is the usual fare served up, there remains an economy to run.
Lots of space will be allocated to “Innovation” plans, the Manufacturing jobs announcements a few weeks ago, the Arts creativity and Innovation plan announced yesterday, big announcements, lots of largely recycled money that probably will not be delivered, and hot air expended, but what of the real dilemma?
Governments govern, they (attempt to) create repreatable processes that exclude variation and eschews risk, whereas innovation requires a high tolerance for risk and failure, the absolute opposite of the risk appetite of Government. Distinctly oil and water here!
How do we encourage and support startups, the innovation lifeblood of the economy? The stuff we can dig up and flog at commodity prices cannot in the long run be anything but a race to the bottom of the price curve, and we will lose, as we are unprepared to accept the labour, environmental and public oversight deficiencies of our less fussy international competitors.
At a time when our exports of services are declining, can we ignore the opportunities in tech startups and services? When Google puts its money where its mouth is, and gets together with a few entrepreneurs with a track record of success as they have with the Silicon Beach Action Group, should we listen?