UK Government

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: Lord Mandelson Visits Berlin on Fact Finding Mission

Press Release   •   Feb 09, 2010 10:45 GMT

Lord Mandelson is visiting Germany today on a fact finding mission, to see how the UK could learn from the success of the country’s innovation network.

Known as the Fraunhofer model, the network of technology and innovation centres plays a key role in supporting the development and commercialisation of new technologies. These institutes are a vital link between the academic sector and the needs of industry.

Today’s visit anticipates next month’s Hauser Review. Lord Mandelson has commissioned technology entrepreneur Hermann Hauser to evaluate the current and future role of technology and innovation centres in the UK, and see how we can learn from best practice elsewhere to ensure our communities and businesses are fully equipped to compete and succeed in the global economy emerging from this downturn.

Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills 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 will also meet his German Government counterparts, Federal Minister of Economics and Technology Rainer Brüderle and State Secretary from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research Dr. Georg Schütte.

Lord Mandelson and Mr Brüderle will issue a joint statement highlighting the importance of EU Member States working together to pursue a co-ordinated, ambitious growth strategy, designed to ensure an economically robust Europe that’s capable of delivering strong and sustainable economic growth.

Notes to editors

1.                              On 7 January 2010 the Government launched the ‘Going for Growth’ strategy and asked technology entrepreneur Hermann Hauser CBE to undertake an urgent but systematic evaluation of the UK’s existing innovation network. This work will sit alongside a new report commissioned from Regional Development Agencies on how universities working together with the agencies can drive economic growth in their areas.

2.                              Going for Growth is available online at www.bis.gov.uk/growth

3.                              Lord Mandelson’s visit forms part of the work being done to refocus Britain’s industrial policy to support sustainable economic growth and develop areas fundamental to our future success. These include Low Carbon Industry, Life Sciences, Digital Britain, Advanced Manufacturing, Composites, and Plastic Electronics.

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