News in brief: Innovation, energy, Singapore

News in brief
News in brief

No UK companies on 2015 Top 100 Global Innovators for 5th year running

Thomson Reuters has released its 2015 Top 100 Global Innovators, which has revealed that no UK companies featured on the list for the fifth consecutive year. No fewer than 10 French companies made the list, as well as four German and three Swiss companies. In total there were 20 organisations from Europe.

The report suggests that the following factors continue to affect the UK’s standing: the UK has a lower gross domestic expenditure on R&D (GERD) than the countries represented in the Top 100 Global Innovators, with the UK’s GERD of 1.63% comparing unfavourably to global competitors such as Japan (3.47%) and France’s (2.23%). Additionally, innovation incentives introduced in the UK, such as Patent Box legislation, have not been in place long enough to have had a significant impact.

India signs multi-billion energy deal with UK companies

Lead British solar companies are urging the government to recognise global opportunity and back domestic industry. The Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi has signed trade deals worth £10billion, including pacts on aircrafts and telecoms.

The deals include £2billion of investment in India by Solar Trade Association member Lightsource Renewable Energy. The deal will mean Lightsource will design, install and manage around 3GW of solar power infrastructure in India over the next five years.

The investment illustrates the booming international opportunities available if the UK government retains a strong domestic solar industry. Modi is visiting the UK as the British solar industry reels from government plans to implement drastic cuts to the sector. The Lightsource deal will create an expected 300 jobs and £42million of revenue in the UK, as well as benefiting hundreds of families in India.

The Digital Catapult to form a partnership with Singapore-based Newton Circus

The Digital Catapult, a national centre to rapidly advance the UK’s best digital ideas, has formed a partnership with Singapore-based Newton Circus and its DEX subsidiary to drive forward Data City, Data Nation – a global data-sharing initiative between Singapore and London.

Singapore is building the world’s first Smart Nation and London is a global leader in data-driven innovation. Both cities are cultivating vibrant technology ecosystems, with international entrepreneurs and corporates being encouraged to use the cities as ‘living labs’ to test new ideas and solutions.

“The capacity of big data to deliver insight and value that can change the way major cities, their communities and services work is only now beginning to be properly realised. This partnership will help us to engage analytical talent across our two great data economies and bring the private sector on board as we look to address major city challenges such as improving health, reducing crime and cutting emissions,” said deputy mayor for Environment and Energy Matthew Pencharz. “With the Digital Catapult now celebrating its first birthday, there has never been a better time to embrace the unique power of data as we work to deliver economic growth and better city living.”