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News - 14 March 2010
James Dyson

Ingenious Britain

Sir James Dyson - the engineer inventor of the Dyson vacuum cleaner - is calling for 'cultural change' to develop higher esteem for science and engineering in his report 'Ingenious Britain' which was commissioned by the Conservative party to identify ways of making the UK the top high tech exporter in Europe.

Chiming with the new found enthusiasm for manufacturing in the wake of the financial services and banking scandals, Sir James said: "Now, more than at any time over the past 20 years, I sense there is a real opportunity to set a new vision for our economy. To do this, a new government must take immediate action to put science and engineering at the centre of its thinking – in business, industry, education and – crucially – in public culture."

Included in the report's recommendations are:

  • Cultural change, to develop high esteem for science and engineering, including a major national prize scheme for engineering and government commitment to big projects such as high speed rail and nuclear power.
  • Changes at university level to encourage more young people to choose science and engineering degrees, including: industry scholarships and greater freedom for universities.
  • Encouraging more girls to study engineering [in a recent survey while 2% of female secondary school pupils said they wanted to be engineers, 32% said they wanted to be models]
  • Changing the way knowledge is exploited by bringing higher education closer to business so the UK becomes world-class in taking the best new ideas out of universities and onto the market.
  • Changes to improve financing for high-tech start-ups which are riskier than ordinary start-ups and consequently need a government guaranteed business loan scheme to encourage more lending by banks.
  • Refocusing R&D tax credits on high-tech companies, small businesses and new start ups, and delivering on ambitions to deliver 25% of procurement and research contracts through small and medium sized enterprises.

Click below to read a copy of the report

Click here to download Ingenious Britain by Sir James Dyson

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