January 23, 2018

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Government unveils industrial strategy

29 November 2017

The strategy has been in discussion for 18 months since Theresa May became prime minister, and aims to make the United Kingdom the world's most innovative nation by 2030.

The government's Industrial Strategy whitepaper has pledged that technology and data are central to the UK's future. With the Budget last week, and our Industrial Strategy in the years ahead, we will build a Britain fit for the future'.

The document sets out four "grand challenges" that the government, working with business, academia, and society at large, has committed to overcoming in the coming years. The final challenge is to ensure that the country uses "the power of innovation to help meet the needs of an ageing society".

The Strategy has been welcomed by members of the green business community, with Aldersgate Group's chief executive Nick Molho describing it as a clear signal that clean growth is part of the UK's mainstream economic strategy.

Clark added: "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".

Georgeson also commented on the collaborative role industry can play: "The challenge now is for government to harness the hunger and commitment of our industry to shape this new policy landscape".

"We are exporting our skills and knowledge worldwide, winning multimillion-pound contracts in wind and marine energy - if this industrial strategy fully supports these world-leading sectors, it can drive growth across all parts of the United Kingdom and create tens of thousands of high-value jobs".

Business secretary Greg Clark added: "Our life sciences sector is one of the UK's fastest developing industries, with a turnover in excess of £64 billion, employing 233,000 across the UK. The NHS has a proud history of spearheading medical innovation and today's investment in our strong and growing life sciences sector will see patients in the United Kingdom continue to benefit from world-leading research and pioneering medicines".

According to the white paper, the way buildings are created in the United Kingdom has not change substantially change in 40 years and "needs a drastic overhaul if it is to deliver the building that the United Kingdom needs".

The BMF is pleased to see the Industrial Strategy recognise and showcase the construction industry through the announcement of a Construction Sector Deal.

The strategy says the United Kingdom will take an AI global leadership role by investing £9m in the new Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation announced in the Budget.

"There is still plenty to do, including supporting those millions of small businesses not yet taking advantage of basic tech", he said. To create a sustainable economy requires greater use of data and technology to reinvigorate and grow many sectors - this includes manufacturing, professional services, retail banking and telecoms. "A system led by offshore wind, smart technology, battery storage and electric vehicles will make that happen".

"We now need to work with BEIS to promote well-functioning markets for secondary raw materials, the key foundation for the UK's ability to create a low-carbon, resource efficient economy".

Government unveils industrial strategy