This submission concerns entrepreneurs and businesses – large and small – that commercialise scientific research and can sometimes struggle to access finance at various stage of their development.
Difficulties are particularly acute at the early stages of the commercialisation process due to the high risk and long-term nature of the investment required. Investors’ desire for short-term returns can also alter the priorities of companies to the detriment of R&D programmes and long-term growth. The UK has a scale-up problem, with few businesses to rival those in the United States in terms of size.
Government interventions should aim to increase both public and private investment in early-stage commercialisation, encourage long-term thinking among investors and encourage informed risk-taking. Support is also needed for scaling-up businesses.