Government’s Industrial Strategy launched

Posted on 07 Dec 2017 and read 267 times
Government’s Industrial Strategy launchedBusiness Secretary Greg Clark formally launched the Government’s Industrial Strategy with a White Paper setting out a long-term vision for how Britain can build on its economic strengths, address its productivity performance, embrace technological change and boost the earning power of people across the UK.

Indeed, with the aim of making the UK the “world’s most innovative nation” by 2030, the Government says it has committed to investing a further £725 million over the next three years in the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) to respond to some of the “greatest global challenges and the opportunities” faced by the UK.

The Government had previously committed £1 billion to the first wave of ISCF projects, including £246 million for next-generation battery technology and £86 million for robotics hubs across the UK; and earlier in November, the Prime Minister announced “an ambition” to increase the level of investment in R&D, rising from 1.7% of GDP to 2.4% by 2027 (this could equate to around £80 billion of additional investment in advanced technology in the next decade).

The White Paper also confirms that the Government will be “pressing ahead with a series of Sector Deals”, with construction, life sciences, automotive and AI the first to benefit from long-term partnerships with Government, backed by private-sector co-investment.

Business Secretary Greg Clark said: “The way we live our lives as workers, citizens and consumers is being transformed by new technologies. The UK is well-placed to benefit from this new industrial revolution, and we start from a position of significant strength.

“We have a thriving research and science base, and we are home to a wide range of innovative sectors. The Industrial Strategy is an unashamedly ambitious vision for the future of our country, laying out how we tackle our productivity challenge, earn our way in the future, and improve living standards across the country.

“The White Paper follows extensive engagement by Government with industry, academia and business bodies, with almost 2,000 responses to the Green Paper consultation earlier in 2017.

“To ensure that the Government is held to account on its progress in meeting the ambitions set out in the Industrial Strategy, an independent council will be launched in 2018 to make recommendations to the Government on how it measures success.”

Colin Brown — director of engineering at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers — said: “The Government’s Industrial Strategy makes some positive recommendations — in particular, with regard to investing in skills and innovation in particular — but the Government now needs now to show joined-up thinking on how we can deliver on these ambitions.

“While the £406 million provided to help address the shortage of STEM skills is welcome, it is vital that this funding is made in the right places.

“Currently, few schools are integrating engineering into their teaching and the wider school culture, so students are developing a vague and incoherent understanding of the profession, its career opportunities and what it does for society.”

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