European Commission - Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

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Industrial Strategy


In November 2017, the UK Government published the new flagship Industrial Strategy which lays down the national plan to boost economic growth, drawing on the country’s strengths in order to embrace the opportunity of technological change.
In the white paper, the Government has identified four Grand Challenges in particular, namely global trends that the UK must embrace to harness all the opportunities they bring and in which it has the opportunity to play a global leading role in the path towards the technological revolution:

  1. Put the UK at the forefront of the artificial intelligence and data revolution;
  2. Maximise the advantages for UK industry from the global shift to clean growth;
  3. Be a world leader in shaping the future of mobility;
  4. Harness the power of innovation to help meet the needs of an ageing society.

Key policies highlighted in the document include:

  • Raise total research and development (R&D) investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027;
  • Increase the rate of R&D tax credit to 12%;
  • Invest £725m (€820m) in new Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund programmes to capture the value of innovation. This will include £170m (€190 million) to transform the construction sector and help create affordable places to live and work that are safer, healthier and use less energy, and up to £210m (€238 million) to improve early diagnosis of illnesses and develop precision medicine for patients across the UK;
  • 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
  • Invest an additional £406m (€460m) in maths, digital and technical education, helping to address the shortage of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills;
  • Create a new National Retraining Scheme that supports people to re-skill, beginning with a £64m (€72m) investment for digital and construction training;
  • Boost digital infrastructure with over £1bn (€1.13bn) of public investment, including £176m (€200m) for 5G and £200m (€227m) for local areas to encourage roll out of full fibre networks;
  • Drive over £20bn (€23bn) of investment in innovative and high potential businesses, including through establishing a new £2.5bn (€2.8bn) Investment Fund, incubated in the British Business Bank;
  • Create a new Transforming Cities fund that will provide £1.7bn (€1.9bn) for intra-city transport. This will fund projects that drive productivity by improving connections within city regions.
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