The report, The International Innovation Barometer 2020, detailed the responses of a survey of 300 senior R&D professionals from 12 countries around the world, including the UK.
The availability of talent was the most frequently cited influence (50%) on where businesses established innovation programmes, firmly placing people as the ones driving the success of R&D through their ideas.
Access to talent
Kristina Sumichrastova, managing director at Ayming’s Czech Republic and Slovakia branch, said: “Access to talent has the single biggest impact on R&D. The more talent you have, the more money you can put into it. You can’t budget for R&D activity if you can’t find and hire the right people.
“It is very difficult to find, attract and retain talent. They are crucial to the success of a project. It can be expensive to keep these people, but they are resourceful and the return on investment potential is big.”
Brexit seemed to be preying on the minds of senior R&D professionals in the UK, highlighted by less than half of respondents (48%) expecting budget increases in the next three years.
Impairing collaboration projects
The greatest victim of Brexit, though, would be the impairment of collaborative projects between the UK and members of the EU, warned Ayming.
To mitigate the risk, Mark Smith, partner - innovation incentives at Ayming UK, called for more investment in R&D from the UK Government. “The worst thing in the world in times like this is to rein in investment,” he added. “It’s detrimental to longer-term success.”
While 68% of British businesses said they relied on internal R&D resources, only 48% said they collaborated with other organisations.
Meanwhile, a new training centre to tackle the shortage of skilled engineers in the food and drink industry has been officially opened by Sheffield Hallam University.