Industrial strategy promises major boost to United Kingdom training and research

Theresa May U.K. prime minister at the Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels Belgium on Nov. 24 2017

Theresa May U.K. prime minister at the Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels Belgium on Nov. 24 2017. Dario Pignatelli—Bloomberg Getty Images

CEO Dr Colin Church says "CIWM was looking for the Industrial Strategy White Paper to recognise the role improving resource productivity can play in helping the United Kingdom economy meet the challenges it faces.

A new United Kingdom location will enable us to build on our proud legacy of invention and be an important contributor to the vibrant and rapidly growing United Kingdom life sciences community, while providing access for more collaborations within the European life science ecosystem".

Business Secretary Greg Clark's plan has been nearly a year in the making and "will see ministers agree dozens of sector deals with different parts of industry to drive the economy forward and reverse Britain's productivity crisis", says Politico's Jack Blanchard.

Business Finance analyst Carl D'Ammassa, at investment bank Aldermore, said: "It is early days for the Government's new Industrial Strategy, however it appears that the lofty ambitions for the Strategy are yet to translate into awareness".

When details of the Industrial Strategy were published on 27 November 2017, trade bodies such as RenewableUK were quick to welcome it, despite misgivings about onshore wind being overlooked. 'Work will continue with other sectors on transformative sector deals, ' said the white paper.

Mr Clark said Britain has some of the world's best universities and research institutions, as well as leading companies in sectors ranging from advanced manufacturing to financial services, life sciences and creative industries.

'The move to cleaner economic growth - through low carbon technologies and the efficient use of resources", it says "is one of the greatest industrial opportunities of our time.

The section of the Industrial Strategy linked to the circular economy and the waste and resources strategy due out in 2018 look to be aligning with the European Commission's circular economy proposals which are nearing completion. We will position the United Kingdom as a world leader in sustainably maximising the value we extract from our resources, while minimising the negative impacts of their extraction, use and disposal.

Among its other promises today within the Industrial Strategy, the govenrment said that it would be "working in partnership with food businesses "from farm to fork", through the Courtauld Commitment to deliver a 20 per cent per capita reduction in food waste by 2025". 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.

This work is to build on the foundations "set out in our 25 Year Environment Plan", says the government - although the plan itself has been delayed and is not expected until the New Year.

As well as the explicit references to waste and resources, opportunities could also be found for the sector and its development through the commitment to research and development.

Chair of the Life Science Industrial Strategy Advisory Board, Sir John Bell said: "Today's investment provides strong evidence that a coherent industrial strategy can have a real, tangible impact on economic activity in sectors that we need to strengthen and grow". One of the strategy's "Grand Challenges" surrounds the use and harnessing of artificial intelligence (AI), and the paper notes that one application of AI could be to enable more efficient use of resources: 'For example, intelligent algorithms applied to data on atmospheric conditions and soil moisture could dramatically reduce the amount of water needed for agriculture'.

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