If you accept that all companies are dying, and that it is just a question of how long they can stave off the inevitable, then we would argue that the only way they can do that is by constantly reinventing themselves and their products - this is innovation in it's truest form.

In the UK manufacturing sector, we know that the majority of companies are not innovators and are following this downward trend. 

Why? Cost and availability of finance were the number one reasons, followed by a lack of expertise, information about technology, market dominance by competitors and, unsurprisingly, the EU referendum – although as that took place in the middle of 2016, towards the end of the survey, it is hard to be definitive about its true impact.

Other highlights:

- Large companies innovate more than small

- Only one manufacturing category actually upped its innovation game, makers of electrical and optical equipment

- Innovation declined in every area of the UK except SW England, where it increased significantly

- Most innovation investment was on R&D, software and training, followed by machinery.

In recent years, the only real highlight has been the increasing level of collaboration between manufacturers and external partners. It is abundantly clear now that co-creation with suppliers and customers, or even universities and government agencies must be at the forefront of Innovation.