The Confederation of British Industry has called on the government to remodel its Technology Strategy Board to push for development and public sector adoption of new technologies.
A report published by the CBI and defence technology firm QinetiQ urges the development of an “advanced research and projects agency” to work with government procurers and help them become early adopters of new ideas.
The new agency could identify and sponsor areas of technology development to address government needs, the report says.
It could also promote “pre-commercial procurement”, sharing the benefits and risks with industry in order to exploit the results of research as fast as possible.
CBI director general Richard Lambert said that spending just a portion of the government’s annual £150bn procurement budget on “nurturing and acquiring innovative products”, this could “deliver dramatic returns”.
In a separate report urging improvements to public procurement, the CBI called for government departments to set up commercial directorates, staffed by “procurement professionals able to make and close deals”.
Government bodies should also “prioritise constant market engagement, including dialogue with suppliers outside of the tendering process”, it says.