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Funding news - 28/11/2017

Government Publishes Industrial Strategy

The Government’s Industrial Strategy sets out a series of measures to make the UK the world’s most innovative nation by 2030.

The Government has published its Industrial Strategy, setting out its long-term vision for how the UK can build on its economic strengths, address its productivity performance, embrace technological change and boost the earning power of people across the UK in order to make Britain the world’s most innovative nation by 2030.

The core of the Strategy is formed of six key sections: one focusing on four Grand Challenges, and five dedicated to each of the five foundations of productivity - ideas, people, infrastructure, business environment and places.

The four Grand Challenges are designed to put the UK at the forefront of the industries of the future. They represent 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. The four challenges are as follows:

  • Artificial intelligence – putting the UK at the forefront of the artificial intelligence and data revolution.
  • Clean growth – maximising the advantages for UK industry from the global shift to clean growth.
  • Ageing society – harnessing the power of innovation to help meet the needs of an ageing society.
  • Future of mobility – becoming a world leader in the way people, goods and services move.

The subsequent five chapters of the report examine the five foundations of productivity in turn, with a clear and complementary vision set out for each one. 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. Key policies for each of these areas are as follows:

Ideas

  • Raise total research and development (R&D) investment to 2.4% of GDP by 2027.
  • Increase the rate of R&D tax credit to 12%.
  • Invest £725 million in new Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund programmes to capture the value of innovation.

People

  • Establish a technical education system that rivals the best in the world to stand alongside the UK’s world-class higher education system.
  • Invest an additional £406 million in maths, digital and technical education, helping to address the shortage of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills.
  • Create a new National Retraining Scheme that supports people to re-skill, beginning with a £64 million investment for digital and construction training.

Infrastructure

  • Increase the National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF) to £31 billion, supporting investments in transport, housing and digital infrastructure.
  • Support electric vehicles through £400 million charging infrastructure investment and an extra £100 million to extend the plug-in car grant.
  • Boost digital infrastructure with over £1 billion of public investment, including £176 million for 5G and £200 million for local areas to encourage roll out of full fibre networks.

Business Environment

  • Launch and roll-out Sector Deals – partnerships between government and industry aiming to increase sector productivity. The first Sector Deals are in life sciences, construction, artificial intelligence and the automotive sector, and work will continue with other sectors on transformative sector deals.
  • Drive over £20 billion of investment in innovative and high potential businesses, including through establishing a new £2.5 billion Investment Fund, incubated in the British Business Bank.
  • Launch a review of the actions that could be most effective in improving the productivity and growth of small and medium-sized businesses, including how to address what has been called the ‘long tail’ of lower productivity firms.

Places

  • Agree Local Industrial Strategies that build on local strengths and deliver on economic opportunities.
  • Create a new Transforming Cities fund that will provide £1.7 billion for intracity transport. This will fund projects that drive productivity by improving connections within city regions.
  • Provide £42 million to pilot a Teacher Development Premium. This will test the impact of a £1,000 budget for high quality professional development for teachers working in areas that have fallen behind.

The overall progress of the Industrial Strategy will be monitored by a new, independent Industrial Strategy Council, which will assess progress and make recommendations to the Government.

Commenting on the strategy’s launch, 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.'

Source: GOV.UK, 27/11/2017

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