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Government failing to build markets with procurement

A report from the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Business Research says that UK government departments need to do more to award contracts in ways that will help build fledgling markets.

Its author, David Connell, says that the government’s commitment to spending £200 million on procurement through the Small Business Research Initiative in 2014-15 is looking “very problematic”. He says that the government awarded contracts worth only £78m to UK businesses under the SBRI in 2013-14, despite having committed to spending £100m. 

The Ministry of Defence is highlighted as a department that is “not currently participating in any meaningful way in the SBRI programme”. The report says that the department awarded £7.7m in SBRI contracts in 2013-14, which was just 15 per cent of the Treasury commitment. 

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