🏧 What needs to stand behind the Digital Strategy is cash and collaboration.
Businesses need incentives to invest in new uncertain projects, and the R&D tax credit is one pathway through which they can do this. However, we believe extending tax credit onto capital expenditure into green technologies would be a game-changer for manufacturers - driving the incentives to innovate and supporting greater sustainability.
Another key area that is crucial for the manufacturing sector and the wider economy is digital adoption. Digital adoption needs to involve more SMEs otherwise we will have a growing gap between fast-growing firms and small just about-managing ones.
❔ Why? SMEs are the majority of the UK business landscape – over 90% are SMEs!
Technologies such as additive manufacturing, IoTs or AI are mostly mature, so our focus must turn to ensure the better take-up of these amongst SMEs. Whilst Help to Grow is trying to address some of this, we need to diversify the offering into supply chain management software and other manufacturing software. Made Smarter is doing a great job in helping SMEs with digital adoption, and a national rollout of this should be considered within the implementation of the UK Digital Strategy.
💭 Last thoughts…
It’s great to see this comprehensive overview of the schemes, plans and strategies available. We look forward to seeing the new developments around regulation, in particular ensuring they are business-friendly. But all in all, a good step in the right direction.