Government has published the Industrial Strategy White Paper, which sets out a long term plan to boost the productivity and earning power of people throughout the UK.

You can find the White Paper here.

The Strategy comments:

It sets out how we are building a Britain fit for the future – how we will help businesses create better, higher-paying jobs in every part of the United Kingdom with investment in the skills, industries and infrastructure of the future.  The UK has significant economic strengths on which we can build, but we need to do more to increase our productivity and make the most of our untapped potential right across the country.

By planning for a rapidly changing future, we can shape new markets and build the UK’s competitive advantage as well as improve the quality of our everyday lives. We will boost productivity and earning power across the country by focusing on the five foundations of productivity: Ideas, People, Infrastructure, Business Environment and Places.

Our Industrial Strategy is making changes now, but also looking to the future. We have committed to the biggest ever increase in public and private investment in R&D. Public infrastructure investment will have doubled in a decade by 2022/23 and through Local Industrial Strategies we will work with local leaders to build local economies that thrive. We have launched a £1.7 billion Transforming Cities Fund to make the towns in and around our major cities better connected to the city and each other and promote local growth. We are reforming our technical education system to make it as prestigious as our higher education system, and we are supporting businesses across the country to boost their exports and productivity.  

Policies on science, research and innovations set out in the Ideas chapter of today’s White Paper include:

•                    committing to spending 2.4% of GDP on R&D, which could increase public and private R&D investment by as much as £80 billion over the next 10 years.

•                    investing a further £725m in a second wave of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. We are announcing six Industrial Strategy Challenges in Wave 2 aligned with our Grand Challenges and Sector Deals and two Pioneer Challenges

•                    investing £300m over the next three years in world-class talent in priority areas such as artificial intelligence to enhance our skilled workforce and attract private sector R&D investment.

•                    Building on emerging evidence on UK strengths from the Science and Innovation Audits, we are launching a new competitive £115m Strength in Places Fund to support areas to build on their science and innovation strengths and develop stronger local networks and collaboration.

•                    doubling the number of available visas in the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) route. We are changing immigration rules to enable world-leading scientists and researchers endorsed under the Tier 1 route to apply for settlement after three years and making it quicker for highly skilled students to apply to work in the UK after finishing their degree.

•                    launching a new International Research and Innovation Strategy in early 2018 in partnership with UK Research and Innovation; and launching a £110m Fund for international collaborations to enhance the UK’s excellence in research and innovation through global engagement to support economic growth. 

Businesses welcomed our proposal to have sector deals, strategic, long-term partnerships between industry and the government, backed by sizeable private sector co-investment. We are announcing deals in construction, life sciences, artificial intelligence and automotive industries, updating on the sectors in advanced discussions and setting out criteria for future deals.

The Industrial Strategy also sets out four Grand Challenges to put the UK at the forefront of the industries of the future, ensuring that the UK takes advantage of major global changes, improving people’s lives and the country’s productivity. The first four Grand Challenges are focused on the global trends which will transform our future: Growing the Artificial Intelligence and Data Driven Economy, Clean Growth, Future of Mobility and our Ageing Society.

The White Paper is a significant milestone but not the end point: It sets out a clear long-term ambition and framework with a series of policies supporting it. We will be creating an independent Industrial Strategy Council which will develop measures of success and evaluate our performance.  Our partnerships with businesses, academia and civic society will ensure we are doing all we can to boost productivity and earning power, and we are responding to rapid changes in the economy.

Submitted on 02/12/2017