Ideas are the new currency in our knowledge economy - but UK managers are not doing enough to encourage their staff to put them forward, according to new research from mobile phone giant Vodafone.
However, increasing university and business collaboration - such as that run by Coventry University - boosts business by driving forward innovation.
Vodafone's survey of 2,020 workers reveals that more than half (54 per cent) of the respondents are not encouraged to be creative or to present ideas to managers.
More than two thirds (70 per cent) said their companies do not have a good reputation for rewarding innovation, while 24 per cent said they never even bother to tell anyone about their bright ideas.
But, university to business collaboration is a sure way to boost creativity, innovation and the bottom line.
John Latham, provicechancellor for business development at Coventry University Enterprises, said: "All companies need to continue to innovate to stay among the leaders and build their business.
" Coventry University Enterprises (CUE) offers businesses and their employees the opportunity to develop and exploit their ideas.
" Coventry University's business development activity has established hundreds of new jobs and safeguarded thousands of existing jobs. "CUE has supported thousands of small-tomediumsized Enterprises (SMEs), and over 200 SMEs have been established with the support of CUE.
"We focus on innovation, design, automotive engineering, health and environment have expertise at regional, national, European and international levels."
John Edwards, chief executive of regional development agency Advantage West Midlands, also said: "Businesses and organisations crave creativity, and they should look to their employees.
"We are in a world where innovation is going to play an increasing part in economic success. Companies need both a culture for encouraging new ideas and doing something about them."
"The West Midlands has long been associated with innovation and creativity. Links with research and educational institutions such as Coventry University Enterprises are driving forward innovation to promote business efficiency, investment and competitiveness."
Vodafone's report shows that very small companies with up to five employees are the best at generating new ideas - half of them giving staff formal thinking time.
In large corporations on the other hand, just 13 per cent of the workforce see their ideas being regularly taken up.
Senior managers are much more likely than other staff to be rewarded for innovative ideas.