Business Secretary Greg Clark has today launched the government’s ambitious Industrial Strategy today.

The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund will invest £725 million in new Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund programmes to capture the value of innovation.

The news comes as the government announces it has secured a major strategic investment into UK by world leading life sciences company MSD.

The strategy aims 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.

Last week 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.

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,clean growth, ageing society and the future of mobility which aims to put the UK a world leader in the way people, goods and services move.

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 CBI has given its initial response to the Government’s new modern Industrial Strategy.

Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, said:

“Nine in ten firms see a modern Industrial Strategy as vital to improving living standards in the face of Brexit uncertainty and a sombre economic outlook.  This announcement shows the Government has its eye firmly on the horizon, not just the next few yards.  We welcome the recognition that success will require urgent action in partnership with business. This is the route to raising living standards in every corner of the country.

“The hard work starts now. Today’s announcement must be the beginning of a strategic race, not a tactical sprint. And it needs to last. This is a time for consistency and determination, not perpetual change with the political winds. The creation of an independent council with teeth to monitor progress will help this.

“The CBI urges the Government to continue on this road, moving fast from strategy to action. Two important tests of success will be that all regions and nations have successful industrial strategies, and that it is supported and not harmed by Brexit. There must be no missed turns on the path to UK 2030”

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.

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