Lord Mandelson visited Berlin on Friday to learn how the UK can take tips from the success of Germany’s innovation network.
Known as the Fraunhofer model, Germany’s network of technology and innovation centres plays an important role in supporting the development and commercialisation of new technologies. These institutes have proved to be a vital link between the academic sector and the needs of industry.
The visit anticipates next month’s Hauser Review. The Business Secretary has commissioned technology entrepreneur Hermann Hauser to evaluate the current and future role of technology and innovation centres in the UK.
The review is an attempt to see how UK companies can learn from best practice elsewhere to ensure its communities and businesses are equipped to compete and succeed globally as Britain emerges from the downturn.
Lord Mandelson said: “I have always said that Britain is a land of inventors and innovators. I am proud of how well we create and design items, but I want to ensure we translate all our achievements into money-makers and ultimately jobs.
“Germany has long been admired as a world leader in this field and so I am here to learn about their success. I look forward to reporting back on how we can use their experience to help advance economic growth in the UK.”
During his one-day trip Lord Mandelson met Federal Minister of Economics and Technology Rainer Brüderle and State Secretary from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Dr. Georg Schütte.
Mandelson and Brüderle will issue a joint statement highlighting the importance of EU Member States working together to pursue a co-ordinated, growth strategy, with a view to supporting a Europe that is capable of delivering strong, sustainable economic growth.