News that Greg Clark is meeting businesses to discuss the much heralded UK industrial strategy is important news. The UK has needed a strategy independent of Brexit, but no doubt Brexit will continue to dominate the agenda even though it shouldn't.
There are fundamental steps that could be seen as very positive moves forward, these include focusing on:
- A state funded infrastructure/key UK strategic assets plan building on energy, security and 21st century transport and broadband.
- Plugging the EU funding gap for research in universities but imposing a requirement to make universities more accountable for research to support the industrial strategy including incentivising links with industry.
- Addressing education and skills via more apprenticeship academies, again supported by business and up skilling existing workforces via compulsory training days /schemes.
- Localising excellence clusters around the country where local authorities bid for funding, expertise and incentives on a coordinated basis so overseas investors understand the regions in the country that are focused on biotech, biomedical advanced manufacturing, robotics digital communications, chemicals, automotive and aerospace etc.
- Creating an environment for the internet of things and manufacturing 4.0 to flourish.
If the UK Government can set out a clear industrial strategy which is looking 20 years ahead then this is the boost the country needs.
Business secretary Greg Clark to hone in on industrial strategy in raft of meetings with companies next week.