A single European patent looks ever more likely as ministers reached important agreements on the detail of a unitary patent at the Competitiveness Council in Luxembourg today.
For the first time in 60 years, ministers have agreed on the languages regime for the patent – the number of translations which applicants need to file to get their patent. This is a significant achievement for the UK, the Hungarian Presidency and the Commission. They also agreed on the technical details of the patent itself.
As a result it will be easier and cheaper to register patents, with far fewer translations required than at present. The availability of a single patent for the European market will be an incentive for innovation and will enhance the competitiveness of European businesses.
The rural economy and medium sized businesses will be at the centre of the next stage of the Growth Review, the Government announced today, as it continues its focus on restoring the economy’s health.
Building on the radical programme of reforms set out in the first Plan for Growth, published at the Budget, the next stage of the review will focus on:
Infrastructure – considering how to eliminate barriers and encourage greater investment in UK infrastructure
- Education and skills – looking across the whole of the education system from schools, FE colleges, universities and other training providers to consider how to maximise economic growth
- Logistics – covering rail, road, shipping and air freight interests and cutting across the wholesale industry, looking at opportunities and barriers to growth as the logistics sector evolves in response to the increasing complexity and globalisation of supply chains
- Mid-sized businesses – examining businesses that have expanded beyond the definition of SMEs, considering how to increase the number of firms that show significant growth at this level
- Rural economy – scrutinizing the constraints, opportunities and risks impacting on economic growth in rural areas, and considering specific issues including labour market characteristics, to support the Government’s commitment to rebalancing the economy
- Open data – investigating the potential growth benefits and risks of opening up access to public sector data assets
Funding for EU research and innovation from 2014: a UK perspective’ published today looks at the future role and shape of EU funding for research and innovation and sets out the following recommendations from the Government
- Research and innovation must play an increasingly vital role in promoting green growth in Europe and should continue to receive a high – and ideally increased – proportion of a future EU budget which is reprioritised to focus on sustainable growth and is smaller overall
- The UK considers that future EU funding should be focussed on funding research programmes that demonstrate excellence and added-value
- EU funding should address global challenges as well as developing new technologies.
Business Secretary Vince Cable, Foreign Secretary William Hague and Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green today launched a new cross-government focus on trade and investment to help the British economy grow.
The UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) Strategy and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) seven-point Charter demonstrate the Government’s dedication to supporting international business, championing UK business overseas and attracting investors to the country.
They form a core plank of the Government’s Plan for Growth, and recognise the fact that a new focus on business is needed if the UK is to remain economically competitive in the years to come.
The strategy will see UKTI adopt a more entrepreneurial approach to deliver growth. As part of this UKTI will actively seek out overseas investors, help UK companies expand into overseas markets and work more closely with key British companies. Examples of this approach include:
- Establishing a new private sector delivery partner with the incentive to attract and retain high value investments.
- Expanding the Global Entrepreneur Programme (GEP) to win more investment to the UK.
The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are highly prestigious awards for outstanding achievement by UK businesses in the categories of Innovation, International Trade and Sustainable Development. The Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion is awarded to individuals.
The deadline for entries for the 2012 Awards is 14.00 on 31 October 2011. Winners are announced on 21 April 2012.