Industry News: Government unveils Industrial Strategy to boost productivity and earning power of people across the UK
Business Secretary Greg Clark has launched the government’s ambitious Industrial Strategy, 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…
With the aim of making the UK the world’s most innovative nation by 2030, the government has committed to investing a further £725 million over the next 3 years in the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) to respond to some of the greatest global challenges and the opportunities faced by the UK. This will include £170 million to transform our construction sector and help create affordable places to live and work that are safer, healthier and use less energy, and up to £210 million to improve early diagnosis of illnesses and develop precision medicine for patients across the UK.
The government has previously committed £1 billion to the first wave of Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund projects, including investing £246 million in next generation battery technology and £86 million in robotics hubs across the UK.
The Prime Minister announced an ambition to increase the level of investment in research and development (R&D), rising from 1.7% to 2.4% of GDP by 2027. This could mean around £80 billion of additional investment in advanced technology in the next decade, helping to transform whole sectors, create new industries, and support innovation across the country.
The white paper also confirms government will be pressing ahead with a series of Sector Deals, with construction, life sciences, automotive and AI the first to benefit from these new strategic and long-term partnerships with government, backed by private sector co-investment. Work will continue with other sectors on transformative sector deals.
Ahead of the signing of the Life Sciences Sector Deal, due in the next few weeks, the government has confirmed that world-leading life sciences company MSD is set to make a major investment into the UK economy with the opening of a new state-of-the-art UK hub, helping ensure innovative research into future treatments for patients and pioneering medicines are completed in Britain.
The investment announced by MSD will support a new world-leading life sciences discovery research facility in the UK, supporting 950 jobs.
Prime Minister Theresa May said:
Our modern Industrial Strategy will shape a stronger and fairer economy for decades to come. It will help create the conditions where successful businesses can emerge and grow, and support these businesses in seizing the big opportunities of our time, such as artificial intelligence and big data, whilst also making sure our young people have the skills to take on the high-paid, high-skilled jobs this creates.
As we leave the European Union and forge a new path for ourselves, we need to focus on building a better future for our country and all the people who live in it. With the Budget last week, and our Industrial Strategy in the years ahead, we will build a Britain fit for the future.
In the strategy, the government has identified 4 Grand Challenges; global trends that will shape our rapidly changing future and which the UK must embrace to ensure we harness all the opportunities they bring. The 4 are:
- artificial intelligence – we will put the UK at the forefront of the artificial intelligence and data revolution
- clean growth – we will maximise the advantages for UK industry from the global shift to clean growth
- ageing society – we will harness the power of innovation to help meet the needs of an ageing society
- future of mobility – we will become a world leader in the way people, goods and services move
Each Grand Challenge represents an open invitation to business, academia and civil society to work and engage with the government to innovate, develop new technologies and ensure the UK seizes these global opportunities.
Business Secretary Greg Clark said:
The way we earn and 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 are home to a wide range of innovative sectors, from advanced manufacturing and life sciences, to fintech and creative industries.
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 who submitted almost 2,000 responses to the green paper consultation earlier in 2017.
The strategy unveiled today reflects this engagement, with a new and unique partnership between government, academia and industry, supported by policies that are committed to making the UK economy more productive and giving it a competitive edge in the future and abroad.
The white paper focuses on the 5 foundations of productivity – ideas, people, infrastructure, business environment and places – with a clear and complementary vision for each.
Each foundation is supported by a range of policies designed to provide businesses with certainty and reassurance that the UK will continue to have a competitive edge.