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Business innovation is fundamental to economic prosperity. Businesses that bring on new products, processes and technologies become more productive, challenge existing business models, and grow quickly. The CBI works to help create the conditions that enable businesses to come up with new ideas, invest in research and development (R&D) and adopt new technologies.

Top priorities

  • R&D investment – The UK has a great environment for new ideas but invests less in research and development than its international competitors. We are campaigning to increase public and private investment in R&D to 3% of GDP, working with government to establish a roadmap to achieving this goal.
  • Adoption of digital technology – Digital technology is transforming how businesses operate along with wider society. From banking to farming, healthcare to retail, the digital opportunity extends to all sectors of our economy. Our network brings businesses together to learn from one another and explore how new technologies can be applied.
  • Disruptive business models – New technology has enabled firms to develop new business models and challenge existing ways of working. However, the regulatory environment is often slow to adapt to this change, restricting potential economic benefits brought about by challenger firms. Our access to government enables us to influence policies to help new businesses thrive.

Policy issues affecting the industry

  • Research funding – With government plans to spend an extra £2bn a year on research funding the CBI will be engaging to ensure that funding mechanisms operate as effectively as possible. This will be particularly important in the context of Brexit, with potentially less funds available to UK businesses and universities. We are bringing together our members to establish priorities.
  • The UK innovation environment – The CBI is facilitating business engagement with key innovation institutions such as UK Research and Innovation, universities and the catapult network. We are also influencing the government's industrial strategy to ensure that science and innovation feature prominently within it.
  • Access to digital infrastructure – Improving access to fast and reliable broadband infrastructure across the UK is vital to UK businesses. We are tackling barriers to the roll out of high-speed internet connection.
  • Creating a digital single market in Europe – Being 'digital' is critical for businesses and consumers today. We are influencing the establishment of new rules governing how businesses buy and sell online across borders, licence digital content and transmit data.
  • Data protection and cyber security – Cyber security is an increasingly high profile issue that can affect every business irrespective of size or sector. We are sharing intelligence and influencing data protection and cyber security regulations.

How to get involved

  • Come to our events – As a member you’ll receive invites to exclusive events throughout the year with high profile speakers from business and politics.
  • Influence our policy – We have a number of forums for members to input into our policy making process, including our Intercompany Academic Relations Group and Tech Group.
  • Get the latest intelligence – Access to insights from across policy and business direct to your inbox by subscribing to the CBI's quarterly updates.

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