HomeInsightsGovernment unveils Industrial Strategy to boost productivity and earning power of people across the UK

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On 27 November 2017 the Government launched its 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.”

The Government says that with the aim of making the UK the world’s most innovative nation by 2030, 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. 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 Prime Minister recently 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. The Government says that 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 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 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, the Government says.

In the strategy, the Government has identified four Grand Challenges:

  • artificial intelligence: the Government wants to put the UK at the forefront of the artificial intelligence and data revolution;
  • clean growth: the Government wants to maximise the advantages for UK industry from the global shift to clean growth;
  • ageing society: the Government wants to harness the power of innovation to help meet the needs of an ageing society; and
  • future of mobility: the Government wants the UK to become a world leader in the way people, goods and services move.

The Government says that 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. To read the Government’s press release in full and to access the full Industrial Strategy and other relevant documents, click here.