Penny for your thoughts
As with any budget, the devil is in the detail.
And after watching today’s Budget for an ‘aspirational nation’, I feel that while the political analysis takes up the margins of our newspapers, as a region and nation we must stick together to make this work for us.
I am a business historian and have analysed many fiscal policies and Budget announcements over the last sixty years; I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly.
What is clear from Osborne’s budget today is the need to ‘fix’ our state through monetary activism, supply-side reform and fiscal policy.
From curing the ethics within our banks to attracting new businesses to our shores, as a nation we need to be ensuring that confidence in investment is the foundation on which we build our reformed state. And how do we get this confidence? Through innovation stimuli, is how. Innovation acts as a bedrock for demand, job creation and, ultimately, assurance in the system that generates real wealth.
Many commentators will be discussing the implications of Osborne’s policies, but I want to talk about what we can control. And that is our networks and knowledge economy.
As part of a civic university, the Business School needs to work with business and regional policy makers to build an industrial and business strategy that can work for us. From cutting edge research, leadership and management training to harnessing innovation, the Business School’s doors are open to support the needs of the region to help us grow again.
In this spirit, open collaboration between higher education and businesses can lead to some of the most disruptive and ingenious work: bringing with it vital market share and wealth creation.
The importance of academia, industry and commerce working together as a triple helix for success can also be seen in Heseltine’s review ‘No stone unturned in pursuit of growth’. And with Osborne’s nod to Heseltine’s suggestion of creating a single funding pot for skills, housing and transport, I am looking forward to further details being released. Regions need to know how much and when to expect this to be implemented.
Moreover, with emerging business models like employee ownership and cooperatives operating in a rapidly changing business world, universities and businesses need to work together to decide how we can best do things differently.
As Osborne said today ‘Britain is open for business’, but what I would like to stress is that, yes the economic and fiscal policies outlined today will have some impact in the coming months and years, but we are the people who can add value through being ‘truly’ open for business through collaborative networks leading to innovation.