Nesta (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) has published their results indicating that this investment has fallen by a staggering £24 billion since the start of the recession in 2008. Nesta is a charity providing investments and grants and are therefore in a position to be able to supply credible data on these aspects of business and the economy. It claims that businesses had a “crisis of confidence in the 2000’s prioritising cash and concrete over investment innovation”.
In my previous article, I highlighted the dangers of lack of investment both in marketing and promotion and this along with the self-preservation of assets and lack of investment in new equipment and ideas will not only detrimentally effect and cripple individual companies but inevitably the whole economic future of the country. Nesta states that after rising steadily from 1990 to 2000, investment actually fell by 7% (£7.4bn) between 2008 and 2009 alone. The statistics were compiled from data received from 1,200 businesses. Many support companies also rely on these companies for their own survival.
The worry is that other countries do not appear to be following this pattern; on the contrary, they are investing heavily for the future in technology and innovation. This will leave much of the British Manufacturing Industry belatedly playing catch up or falling by the wayside due to the wrong strategies being adopted. With our manufacturing base already much depleted from the past, we could see yet more manufacturers falling victim to more advanced technologies and techniques in operation in Europe.
Nesta are calling on the UK Government to take action but if the Welsh Government experience is anything to go by, we will only be involved in a talking shop regarding government investment in new innovations and technology. In the past many millions of pounds have been spent on subsiding foreign companies setting up in Wales only for the inevitable consequences of seeing these companies move back out, creating a worse situation than before they arrived when these financial crises hit. If only a portion of this huge amount of money had been invested in indigenous, innovative businesses in Wales, this small principality would have been area of strength in the UK fight back. Unfortunately, It appears that the Welsh Government is prepared to make the same mistake again.
Even though Manufacturing in the UK appears to be shrinking, it still represents 17pc of GDP according to Nesta. Furthermore, they say that manufacturing also accounted for 77pc of business investment in Research and Development and 23pc of total business innovation investment, so still a significant contribution and something the country cannot afford to experience any further erosion of.
One company that has been operating since 1989 and has continued to invest in marketing, promotion and most importantly new equipment and innovation is Dischromatics who are in the Creative Industry and based at Abercarn, Newport in South Wales and who, with a senior management team of post graduates with an average age of just thirty five are continuing their plans for the future development of the company, They know that to simply preserve cash and limit investment would lead to the inevitable disaster that has befallen many other businesses. Unfortunately, Companies cannot wait for Government to live up to their responsibility, they have to act themselves and NOW.
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