Effective and innovative knowledge management is critical to the future success of UK business, the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry told academics and business people this week.
Speaking at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh, Peter Mandelson stressed the importance being attached by government to the knowledge and science and technology base, and its exploitation, for future United Kingdom business success.
He also stressed the need for more of an enterprise culture, and to spread interest in this throughout the education system. "British industry can flourish only if it supports and applies scientific research more effectively," he said. "Scientific discovery must lead to scientific enterprise."
Speaking at the university's Conoco Centre, sponsored by the oil and petrochemicals company and housing the university's petrochemical engineering faculty, Mr Mandelson said that this was "the sort of collaboration I want to see more of, and which will figure strongly in next month's Competitiveness white paper."
He said barriers to collaboration between academia and industry must be removed: "To be successful in this new world, the revolution in attitudes to enterprise must extend from companies into the universities ... across all disciplines and at all levels from vice- chancellors to first-year undergraduates. Bold and forward- looking businesses must work with enterprising universities like Heriot Watt to develop successful new products and processes."