More than half (58 per cent) of the UK's business executives feel that innovation is essential to their company's long-term success, according to research by consultancy Accenture.
But while 46 per cent of business leaders are happy with their organisation's flow of new ideas, only six per cent are confident that these initiatives can be turned into workable concepts and services.
The survey of 601 executives found that funding for innovation was primarily driven by a desire to gain a larger share of existing markets. But a focus on swift return on investment is impacting on long-term research.
Despite its established reputation, the UK – and the rest of Europe – is beginning to fall behind innovators in the Asia and the Americas.
“As the balance or economic power continues to shift towards emerging markets, it is vital that UK plc reasserts its position as leading innovator on the world stage,” said Andy Tinlin, head of corporate strategy at Accenture UK.
“Innovation should not be confined to the research and development function, or even just in the marketing function; in high performing businesses it permeates the culture, metrics and processes of the whole company."
Accenture's global innovation study was conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit.