Providing information on aspects of innovation for members and the public.
Innovation is one of the key pillars of the UK economy, bringing ideas to life and presenting new ways for products, services and processes to advance society. SMEs (companies with less than 250 employees and a turnover of no more than £50 million) are often at the forefront of innovative development and play a role in the innovation supply chain, with engineering and technology central to future success.
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There are many government and business initiatives centred upon innovation within the SME community. However, funding and support is not always reaching the SMEs that have the best prospects for future growth; it has to be suitable for SMEs at different stages in their development.
Ambitious SMEs preparing for scale don’t always know how much investment they’re going to need and where they’re going to get it. Despite the availability of funding from a variety of sources, there is a continuing decline in the number of SMEs seeking investment, with one survey released in March 2018 suggesting that just 22 per cent of SMEs were intending to pursue funding for business investment this year. Without the right ecosystem in place, access to international markets, talent development, integrated business planning, customer research and extended product
innovation can suffer.
The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has identified three challenges which are creating barriers to SME growth.