In addition to responding to the impacts of coronavirus on the economy, half of the region’s companies did something differently to survive or grow as a result of Brexit, the joint research by East Midlands Chamber and audit, tax and consulting services firm RSM found.
The organisations have published the findings in a new report, titled Helping you understand innovation in the East Midlands: Business innovation over the past 12-24 months.
It found many businesses expect to continue innovating over the next two years, with 57 per cent planning for new products and services, but others still face barriers ranging from skills to resources to achieving this.
To overcome these challenges, the report features policy recommendations for Government, including a call for more financial support to increase innovation and collaboration, aligning research and development incentives with Government targets, and additional investment into leadership and management resources.
Chris Hobson, Chamber director of policy and external affairs, said: “The past two years have seen significant change for businesses’ operating environments, with Brexit swiftly followed by the pandemic.
“While this period has caused huge challenges, new opportunities have also arisen that have encouraged firms to make adjustments to the way they operate, create new products and services, or even pivot their business models in some cases.
“Barriers remain, however, with the most significant being a perceived lack of appropriate funding.
“A more general feeling of being too busy is also a significant hurdle. Enhanced support for businesses to build capacity among leaders and managers is required to help overcome this.”