Britain is set to become "the innovation nation" of the future, according to Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
"I want to break down every barrier to innovation, whether it is our policy or our attitudes to regulation," said Brown at this week's Nesta Innovation Edge Conference in London.
The prime minister described the work of IT developers, entrepreneurs and academics attending the conference as "absolutely critical for the economy".
Brown's views were not reflected by all the speakers at the event, however, and there were calls for increased incentives to encourage academic institutions to come up with ground breaking research.
"We need more competition and rewards for successful research [at universities]," said Lord Sainsbury, former minister for science and innovation.
Sir John Chisholm, chairman of defence technology firm Qinetiq, also criticised the UK for trailing the US in providing the right kind of conditions to promote technological innovation.
"The US is not short of early adopters of innovation," he said. "The UK, in contrast, is held back by a public sector averse to risk taking because 'ministers have to be protected'."
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