Sep 162011
Marshall's flax-mill, Holbeck, Leeds, interior...

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The world is changing at a faster pace than ever.

Businesses have shorter and shorter life spans, as they are overtaken or bought out by their rivals.

Cities that prospered during the industrial revolution have shrunk.

And many jobs, especially those in manufacturing and secretarial work, have disappeared.

This change can be painful, especially during hard economic times, but it is unavoidable.

Unless Britain can keep pace with that change, we are at risk of losing jobs and seeing wages fall.

Something new

That is why so many economists and business commentators talk about the importance of innovation.

Innovation is used in so many different contexts that it can be hard to pin down what it means, but it is critically important to the future of our economy.

Innovation just means doing something new, which is better than what we were doing before, and that makes money.

If we do not develop new products and types of activity, we will not create new jobs to replace those that are lost by the constant pressures from around the world.

Support and ideas

People often ask why Britain does not have a big technology company such as Google, Facebook or Microsoft – all from the USA – or manufacturing giants like BMW or Siemens in Germany.

The answer is not that Britain lacks talented or ambitious people. We have one of the most highly educated workforces in the world, and we attract talented people from around the world.

The real problem is that our inventors, entrepreneurs, academics and financiers do not work together often enough, and in the right ways.

Read more . . .

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