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Following visits to well-established clusters of higher value-added activity, the Committee identified six key factors in their success;

"Skills: the successful centres we saw built on the intellectual capital around them.

Ideas: the areas we visited had centres of research excellence and many organisations dedicated to ensuring ideas could be successfully commercialised.

Networks: ultimately, success owed a great deal to the fact that different parts of the system were connected to one another. Universities and technology transfer organisations collaborated; venture capitalists had links to universities and to local government.

Finance: there was ready access to risk capital, and encouragement and help for would-be entrepreneurs.

Leadership: this could come from business, from academia, or from the relevant part of government. Often, a variety of organisations worked together, or complemented one another.

Culture: it was taken as read that good ideas should be commercialised and accepted that not every initiative or business would succeed€”indeed frequent failure was seen as part of the price of success."

However, in the Committee's view, the most urgent change is one of culture, and that will be the hardest to bring about. The Report concludes:

"Collectively, we need to identify our strengths, publicise them and build upon them. We also need to accept that the innovation and experimentation the higher value-added economy requires will mean that projects sometimes fail, and that, in the long term, there is no reward without risk. We should start by recognizing that we already have a higher value-added economy; the challenges are to sustain it and to broaden that success to other sectors."

Peter Luff said:

"This report identifies real problems for British high value-added business, such as the lack of venture capital. But just as importantly, it also identifies real British successes. We need to hear more about them. People make career choices on the information available to them. If they hear from politicians and the media - wrongly - that there is no significant successful UK business outside the financial sector, and that manufacturing is in terminal decline, they will channel their talents accordingly. Policies matter - but so do attitudes."

Further Information:

Chairman: Peter Luff MP (Con) (Mid Worcestershire)
Mr Adrian Bailey (Lab) (West Bromwich West)
Roger Berry (Lab) (Kingswood)
Mr Brian Binley (Con) (Northampton South)
Mr Michael Clapham (Lab) (Barnsley West and Pen.)
Mr Lindsay Hoyle (Lab) (Chorley)
Miss Julie Kirkbride (Con) (Bromsgrove)
Anne Moffat (Lab) (East Lothian)
Mark Oaten (Lib Dem) (Winchester)
Mr Lembit Öpik (Lib Dem) (Montgomeryshire)
Mr Anthony Wright (Lab) (Great Yarmouth)

Media Enquiries: Laura Humble, Tel 0207 219 2003/ 07917 488 489, email:
Specific Committee Information: Tel 020 7219 5777, email: