The report argues that there are four key areas for growth over the next decade that should determine the priorities for action by the next government.
These are the ‘manu-services' sector, which integrates technologically-advanced manufacturing with high value services; low carbon goods and services, including the implementation of existing technologies, the expansion of advanced manufacturing processes, and the development of new and existing services; the creative and cultural sector bound together through ‘expressive value' or copyright-able activity; and high-tech and high value-added networked and intermediary services.
Report author Ian Brinkley said: "Without intelligent and focused intervention, we will at best see a pale shadow of what could have been and, at worst, an economy still wracked with economic imbalances that condemn it to continued low growth and high unemployment. We urgently need to build on our current strengths in the economy and exploit areas where the UK already has distinct advantages."
"The challenge is to rebuild an economic model around investment and innovation with little direct public money. We need low-cost solutions, the right frameworks to encourage long-term private investment, and to concentrate public resources on fewer strategic institutions so that it does the most good in critical areas."
Executive vice chairman of the Work Foundation Will Hutton (pictured) added: "Despite the urgency and scale of these challenges, little attention is being given to them. Instead, the pre-Election debate is dominated by talk of public-spending cuts and tax rises. This publication helps address that balance. There are no more easy pickings off the back of a credit boom.
"Britain is going to have to self-consciously create a national innovation ‘eco-system' that will use productive entrepreneurship, innovation and investment as the basis for economic prosperity. Successful companies will be those that use innovation to create products and processes, creating new markets and reputations for themselves."