UK Gov publishes Industrial Strategy

Reuters

Four "sector deals" aim to replicate the growth of the auto industry in recent years by encouraging investment into highly productive areas including life sciences, construction and artificial intelligence.

Qiagen chief executive Peer M Schatz said: "We are very excited about this partnership with Health Innovation Manchester, and the essential engagement of the University of Manchester, the NHS trust and the United Kingdom government".

Published this morning, the industrial strategy places clean growth among four "Grand Challenges" that it aims to solve.

The first four sectors to benefit from this government plan are construction, artificial intelligence (AI), automotive and life sciences.

Business gave a broadly positive reception but others claimed it offered no new ideas or help for people working outside "elite" industries.

As part of the strategy, an "Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund" will invest an additional GBP725m in new programmes to "capture the value of innovation". Today's announcement must be the beginning of a strategic race, not a tactical sprint.

United Kingdom business secretary Greg Clark said other investments will follow in the £64bn life-sciences industry, one of four to strike a "sector deal" between different industries and ministers as part of the new strategy.

"We support Government's ambition to become the world's most innovative country by 2030 and its commitment to transformative technologies like artificial intelligence".

Our modern Industrial Strategy will shape a stronger and fairer economy for decades to come.

Maddalaine Ansell, University Alliance chief executive, said: "It is particularly welcome that today's White Paper signals a more strategic role for the Office for Students in identifying the future skills needs of the United Kingdom economy".

The strategy also points to the Bioeconomy Strategy now in development and due early next year, which will set out a framework for growth in the sector to develop low carbon bio-based products and processes, and also the Courtauld Commitment, which aims to deliver a 20 per cent per capita reduction in food waste by 2025. "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", he said.

Nuclear and offshore wind will still be in the centre of the country's low-carbon energy policy, as the government pledges to pursue further opportunities for clean heating and potential uses of hydrogen.

The investment announced by MSD, known as Merck and Co in North America, will support a new world-leading life sciences discovery research facility in the United Kingdom, supporting a total of 950 jobs in high-skilled and high-value research roles.

MSD has confirmed plans to plans to establish a UK Discovery Centre, following similar investments in new biomedical centres in the San Francisco Bay Area and Cambridge Massachusetts.

The company said it viewed Britain as a world-leader in science, although a spokeswoman said Brexit raised "some very real concerns" for the supply chain, drug regulation and the ability to attract talent to Britain. It will be formally announced in the coming weeks, including a brand new partnership between leading diagnostics company, QIAGEN, and Health Innovation Manchester, that has the intention to develop a genomics and diagnostics campus in the city.

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".

The Strategy comes after a green paper consultation earlier this year received nearly 2,000 responses from industry and academia.

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