83% of UK SMEs say it is vital to commercialise IP, but there are too many barriers hindering efforts, reveals GovGrant research

Last Updated on: 22nd November 2023, 10:37 am

83% of UK SMEs believe it’s vital to commercialise IP, but there are too many barriers hindering these efforts, according to new research by R&D and IP specialists, GovGrant. From the responses of SME decision-makers across seven different sectors, the findings show 26% believe the lack of opportunity to patent and scope to innovate is to blame, while 21% claim it’s insufficiency of expertise. The data goes on to show 18% account cost as the biggest obstacle when it comes to business’ IP efforts.

The study also found that just 15% of SMEs think the Government is creating an economic environment that encourages innovation, meaning it is only natural that the lack of opportunity to patent and scope to innovate are perceived as the biggest barriers to business’ IP efforts.

However, not all barriers are external, with the study showing that nearly half of businesses (42%)  do not have a representative at Board level responsible for IP commercialisation and strategy.

GovGrant’s research found that cost has also been cited by business as a barrier in the way of R&D and innovation activity. With 83% of businesses aware of the potential commercial benefits successful innovation can bring, this is something that needs to be urgently addressed by the government to further encourage innovation. 

Luke Hamm, CEO, GovGrant, comments:

“Unfortunately, there are barriers to innovation at every level of the UK economy, from the banks’ lending conditions and Government policy, down to the experience and understanding of people within individual businesses. Action is needed from all parties if we are to unlock the economic and social benefits innovation can bring.

“SMEs citing lack of scope for innovation is proof that subject matter experts are not seeing the wood from the trees when it comes to their R&D activity. They need help recognising their own innovation in order to maximise the support available from Government, and these early conversations need to start including Patent Box to make organisations fully aware of the help available to them. If we’re going to put innovation at the heart of the recovery from COVID-19, we need to change the conversation around IP urgently, so the focus is on value creation, not simply protection. 

“When there is a willingness to innovate, barriers can be removed, and with the Government’s commitment outlined in the R&D Roadmap, paired with business’ commitment as expressed to us in this study, I am certain the UK has a bright and innovative future ahead of us.”

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