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Centre for Business Research (CBR) news from 2010

Professor Hughes re-appointed as member to the Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology

16 December 2010

The Prime Minister today re-appointed five members, including Professor Alan Hughes, appointed four ex-officio members, and launched the recruitment of up to around ten new members to the Council for Science and Technology (CST). The appointments will commence on 1 January 2011 when current members’ appointments expire. The CST is the UK Government’s top-level advisory body on science and technology policy issues. It reports directly to the Prime Minister.

Find out more

Visit the Gov.uk website to read more about the Council for Science and Technology reappointments

Higher Education on Regional Economies Research Initiative Conference

18 November 2010

Professor Alan Hughes and Mr Michael Kitson both spoke at the Higher Education on Regional Economies Research Initiative Conference that took place in Edinburgh on 16-17 November 2010.

Professor Hughes discussed the phenomenon of investment in higher education being seen as a route to economic recovery. Michael Kitson talked about the impact of expenditure cuts in UK higher education and the implications for society and long-term economic growth, and highlighted the extensive knowledge exchange taking place between academics and the private, public and third sectors.

Find out more

Visit the event page on the IMPACT website
Watch a video interview with Professor Alan Hughes
Watch a video interview with Mr Michael Kitson

The future starts here

The Cambridge Phenomenon 50th Anniversary Conference

5 October 2010

Three hundred global business leaders, policy makers, entrepreneurs, academics and media converged on Cambridge for “The Future Starts Here: The Cambridge Phenomenon 50th Anniversary Conference”. The day was structured around four themes: IT, biosciences, funding and the future. Professor Alan Hughes was part of the “Future” panel chaired by David Cleevely, with co-panellists Rob Koepp, Gareth Goodier, Anthony Townsend and Lord Broers.

Watch Professor Hughes’s presentation:

Find out more

Visit the Cambridge Phenomenon Conference website

Innovation policy in the UK, Europe and the OECD

1 October 2010

Professor Alan Hughes and Mr Michael Kitson were invited to present the findings of their ESRC-funded research on the ‘Role of Higher Education Institutions in Knowledge Exchange between the Private, Public and Third Sectors’ to the Higher Education Funding Council for England; Research Councils UK; and senior policy bodies in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. They also made a presentation to the OECD Innovation Policy Task Force. They held a Chatham House Rule workshop on Clusters and Innovation Policy for the Rt Hon David Willetts MP, Minister of State for Universities and Science.

Professor Hughes was asked to present findings on innovation policy, and made presentations to various meetings chaired by the then Prime Minister (Mr Gordon Brown); the Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government; Mr Vince Cable, the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills; and the Minister of State for Universities and Science, Mr David Willetts. He also provided similar evidence-based policy presentations to the Director General for Innovation at BIS, and to the Director of Impact Assessment at BIS. Professor Hughes also provided advice to the Danish Innovation Policy Task Force and was invited to advise the Technology Strategy Board on assessing the impact of their innovation policies programmes.

Rebalancing in the dark

29 July 2010

Bill Martin updates his earlier report, Rebalancing the British Economy: A Strategic Assessment, in this presentation given to HM Treasury economists on 27 July 2010. The update takes full account of the June Budget measures, provides a critique of the medium-term projections of the Office for Budget Responsibility and describes an updated set of scenarios for the UK economy. The dangers of anaemic recovery are highlighted, with an analysis of the instabilities created by what Bill Martin calls “the battle of the savers”. He discusses the problems facing policy makers who are “rebalancing in the dark” and emphasises the threat that would be posed were sterling to appreciate.

Find out more

Download the report Rebalancing in the Dark
Download the presentation slides

CBR research awarded Best Law Working Paper Prize by ECGI for the second year running

10 May 2010

Congratulations go to John Armour, Simon Deakin, Priya Lele and Mathias Siems for the award of the Best Law Working Paper Prize of the European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI). The prize, which is sponsored by the international legal practice Allen & Overy, was awarded to the authors for their paper “How do legal rules evolve? Evidence from a cross-country comparison of shareholder, creditor and worker protection” at ECGI’s General Assembly held at the University of Luxembourg on 7 May 2010.

Find out more

Visit the ECGI website to download the paper “How do legal rules evolve?” by Armour, Deakin, Lele & Siems
Learn more about the 2010 competition winners on the ECGI website
Visit the Centre for Business Research (CBR) website to learn more about the project “Law, Finance and Development”

Corporate governance and board-level practice in Nigeria

16 May 2010

Professor Simon Deakin gave a keynote address on “Corporate governance, development and growth” to the Good Governance & Regulation Leadership Forum, organised by Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission, in Abuja in May 2010. The conference brought together executive and non-executive directors from leading Nigerian listed companies with a number of corporate governance experts and officials of the Commonwealth Business Council.

Find out more

Download the event brochure

Weak recovery out of recession is a trap

12 May 2010

How will the British economy fare after the largest contraction since the Great Depression? A new research report quantifies the forces that drove the economy into recession and identifies the macroeconomic policies that would support a balanced recovery.

The report by Bill Martin, Centre for Business Research, highlights two future economic scenarios for the UK: a comparatively benign scenario in which the economy outperforms current expectations and a “slow recovery” scenario in which the credit crunch inflicts lasting damage. The second scenario is a trap.

To avoid it, the author argues for policies to support the revival of demand, in turn encouraging an expansion of productive capacity geared to the balance of payments. A large medium-term fall in sterling may well be required.

The author also quantifies in a novel way the extent to which Britain’s long pre-recession expansion was flattered by asset price bubbles, the resulting systemic imbalances, and the recession-deepening impact of the domestic credit crunch.

Commenting on this research Professor Alan Hughes, University of Cambridge, says:

This research is published at a critical time. It is essential that the correct decisions are made in relation to sustaining demand in the face of pressure to cut public spending and in the pursuit of industrial activism to re-balance the economy away from financial services. This report makes an significant contribution to the current policy debate by clearly identifying the important choices which will need to be made in these areas and by spelling out the implications of alternative ways forward.

Find out more

Download the report Rebalancing the British Economy: A Strategic Assessment

R&D contracts for customers the key to successful hi-tech start-ups

15 February 2010

UK Government innovation policy should be refocused to reflect the crucial role played by customers in stimulating and funding the development of new hi-tech companies, claims a major new report on the Cambridge hi-tech cluster.

David Connell and Jocelyn Probert’s work on innovation policy and the role of “soft” companies was presented in a variety of UK and EU policy fora. Along with Connell’s earlier CBR work on public procurement, this has led to the establishment of pilot programmes of procurement for R&D at the Technology Strategy Board as well as the introduction of a regional scheme by EEDA. In both of these developments Connell has been directly involved as an adviser and designer of the schemes.

Find out more

Download the report Exploding the Myths of UK Innovation Policy: How ‘Soft Companies’ and R&D Contracts for Customers Drive the Growth of the Hi-Tech Economy
Visit the Centre for Business Research (CBR) website to learn more about the project “The Role of “Soft Companies” and Government R&D Contracts in Development of SMEs”

Takeover regulation and board structure in Japan

30 March 2010

Professor Simon Deakin and Dr John Buchanan gave presentations on UK and Japanese takeover regulation and corporate governance practice to a workshop organised by Waseda University in Tokyo in January 2010. The background to the workshop was the consideration of proposals for the reform of the law governing takeovers and board structure in Japan. It was attended by civil servants and policy makers as well as leading academics.

Professor Deakin was commissioned by the DIALOGUE section of the International Labour Office to write a report on labour law and development drawing in part on the CBR datasets. In addition, in March 2010 he gave a presentation on the CBR datasets to a roundtable on “Measuring Law” in Washington DC at which representatives from the World Bank, IMF, EBRD and a number of other international financial institutions were present.

The impact on policy of new methods for evaluating and measuring legal and regulatory change in corporate governance, financial markets and labour markets

31 January 2010

As part of the ESRC-funded project on ‘Law, Finance and Development’, CBR researchers have been involved in developing new ‘leximetric’ methods for measuring and evaluating legal change over time in areas which include corporate governance law, insolvency law, and employment law. The datasets developed by the CBR team as part of this project have been the focus of interest from a number of international organisations.

Find out more

Visit the Centre for Business Research (CBR) website to learn more about the project “Law, Finance & Development”