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Report calls for increases service education and research


A new report says innovation in service systems is necessary for future prosperity and global competitiveness. It urges governments, businesses and universities to drive increased support and funding for service innovation.

Entitled “Succeeding through Service Innovation,” the report notes that service systems such as transport, communications and healthcare form the major part of the modern economy, but suffer from a lack of support compared to manufacturing and technology research. This imbalance needs to be rectified, argues the report, produced by the University of Cambridge and IBM.

According to the UN’s International Labor Organization, service jobs outnumbered agricultural and manufacturing jobs worldwide for the first time in 2007. In Britain, 75 percent of the labor force works in the services sector; in the United States, the sector accounts for more than 80 percent of Gross Domestic Product. A recent report from RTI International outlines that in developed economies, R&D investment in services typically accounts for less than one third of total R&D spending, while the service sector accounts for over two thirds of the GDP and jobs. The past few years have also seen many manufacturers of engineering products, such as BAE Systems and Rolls Royce, adopt service-oriented business models.

“Business models are changing and there are enormous opportunities for companies and economies that are able to integrate science, technology, production and service,” said Professor Mike Gregory, Head of the Institute for Manufacturing at Cambridge University Engineering Department. “The report captures the latest international thinking in the field and provides a rich resource for policy makers, industrialists and academics to drive their policies on service innovation.”


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