The Prime Minister made the point in St Petersburg that the UK “invented most things worth inventing”. The question that follows is can it continue to do so? If Britain’s future is not one as a global military power could it be as an innovation super power?
Over the weekend James Dyson said that 50pc of Dyson’s business last year came from technology it launched in the same year. To stay the pace it invested 36 per cent of its previous year’s profits into research and development. Of the 650 new engineers it will employ in 2013 Dyson expects to find half of those in the UK.
In turn, Britain needs to continue to commercially punch hard above its weight.
In response to the G20 much has been made of Britain overstating its importance to the world. That as other nations such as China, India and Brazil march on we could do everyone a favour by standing aside.
Oxford University’s Dr. Maria Misra described Britain as a “small island throwing its weight around”, arguing “there has to be an adoption of a certainly more humble attitude” and that, “Britain shouldn’t be boastful”.
If ever a move would guarantee obscurity it would be to chart this self-loathing course of intentional global retreat. More so, a great many people in business will tell you that a silent salesman is a dead salesman and that is a lesson that Britain should heed.
Britain simply cannot afford to become the world’s quiet man. It needs to robustly take the gloves off, promote its businesses as world-beaters, its brands as super powers, its entrepreneurs as global leaders.
For it is in the creation of wealth through commercial invention that this nation will continue to make a profound contribution to the world.
Michael Hayman is co-founder of campaigning company Seven Hills and co-founder of StartUp Britain