Celebrate our innovation this summer

Posted on 17 Jul 2012

Business Minister Mark Prisk explains why it is important to support the Make it in Great Britain Challenge.

“From John Logie Baird to Tim Berners-Lee, the UK has a rich history of great inventors whose creations have had an enormous impact on our lives. As the Business Minister, I frequently hear about new and innovative ideas from businesses and individuals.

From ideas that improve on existing processes to make them more sustainable, to new creations that will revolutionise whole sectors, these ideas can benefit the country in a practical, environmental and economic way.

Each new innovation is the product of research and development or design, all of which have a huge role in the story of British manufacturing.

After all, the UK is one of the world’s leading locations for commercial and academic R&D.

With world-class universities and research institutes involved in undertaking leading R&D in all business sectors, many leading companies have already made considerable investments in research and development across the UK.

For example, in 2010 business research and development commissioned by the manufacturing sector totalled an impressive £11.6bn – this is clearly an area of strength for our economy, and something that we can take pride in.

With this in mind, when we launched the Make it in Great Britain Challenge earlier this year, I was very much looking forward to seeing the entries. This was a nationwide competition to find innovative pre-market products, processes and concepts being developed in the UK.

The Challenge was open to companies of all sizes, as well as individuals – be they manufacturers, designers, engineers or others – and there was a category specifically for young people aged between 16 and 21. The finalists have now been selected by an esteemed panel and announced, and I’m pleased to say that the judges and I were delighted with the entries.

Apprentices at defence company BAE Systems who are developing products to help the recovery of wounded soldiers and a migration pushchair that can be folded into a small rucksack, are just some of the finalists that have earned themselves a place within our interactive Make it in Great Britain Exhibition at the Science Museum from July 24 to September 9.

The Challenge finalists and the 39 exhibitors at the Science Museum show that the old adage that Britain doesn’t make anything anymore simply isn’t true. Instead, during a time when the eyes of the world are on the UK, the Make it in Great Britain exhibition will challenge outdated perceptions and help transform the modern image of manufacturing here in Britain and around the world.”