Bessemer bids to improve the innovation investment process
3 Feb 2020
Government must recognise that innovative ‘hard tech’ companies face greater investment difficulties than their digital counterparts securing investment, warned the founder of entrepreneurs’ lobby group the Bessemer Society.
Alex Stewart said that politicians needed to understand the particular challenges facing UK firms working in areas such as semiconductors, biosciences, materials and engineering.
“The problem is they face much greater difficulties than their digital and service innovation counterparts, because the time-to-market for CAPEX-related companies is much longer, and the risks for investors therefore higher,” he stated.
“The question is, what can be done by the Government to encourage more long-term investment in the sector?”
While the UK is still the eighth largest manufacturing economy in the world with a reputation for innovation and creativity, those companies that develop the critical enabling technologies were vital to ensuring the country’s competitiveness, he cautioned.
To highlight the matter, the Bessemer Society and the Foundation for Science & Technology have jointly organised a dinner and debate in Parliament on 27 February to develop thinking among parliamentarians and policymakers about how they can support the process.
Chaired by politician Lord Willetts, the event will feature speakers from a range of hard-tech companies active in bringing new products to market.
Photo:The Dyson Award is one of several British schemes designed to highlight and encourage manufacturing innovation. Lancaster University's Nicolas Orellana and Yaseen Noorani won the 2018 award for the revolutionary O-wind turbine.