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Government Unveils Industrial Strategy
November 27, 2017


Business Secretary Greg Clark has today (27 November 2017) launched the government’s ambitious Industrial Strategy, setting out a long-term vision for how Britain can build on its economic strengths, address its productivity performance, embrace technological change and boost the earning power of people across the UK.

Key headlines are:

  • Business Secretary launches flagship Industrial Strategy for the UK today with a plan to boost the economy, build on the country’s strengths and embrace the opportunities of technological change
  • Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund will invest £725 million in new Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund programmes to capture the value of innovation
  • launch of the Industrial Strategy comes as government announces it has secured a major strategic investment into UK by world leading life sciences company MSD
  • first ‘Sector Deals’ – construction, artificial intelligence (AI), automotive and life sciences – to help sectors grow and equip businesses for future opportunities
  • 4 ‘Grand Challenges’ which will take advantage of global trends to put the UK at the forefront of the industries of the future

In the strategy, 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 – we will put the UK at the forefront of the artificial intelligence and data revolution

  • clean growth – we will maximise the advantages for UK industry from the global shift to clean growth
  • ageing society – we will harness the power of innovation to help meet the needs of an ageing society
  • future of mobility – we will become a world leader in the way people, goods and services move
Five foundations

The white paper focuses on the 5 foundations of productivity – ideas, people, infrastructure, business environment and places – with a clear and complementary vision for each.

Each foundation is supported by a range of policies designed to provide businesses with certainty and reassurance that the UK will continue to have a competitive edge, including:

  • raise total R&D investment to 2.4% of GDP by 2027
  • increase the rate of R&D tax credit to 12%
  • invest £725 million in new Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund programmes to capture the value of innovation


  • establish a technical education system that rivals the best in the world to stand alongside our world-class higher education system
  • invest an additional £406 million 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 £64 million investment for digital and construction training


  • increase the National Productivity Investment Fund to £31 billion, supporting investments in transport, housing and digital infrastructure
  • support electric vehicles through £400 million charging infrastructure investment and an extra £100 million to extend the plug-in car grant
  • boost our digital infrastructure with over £1 billion of public investment, including £176 million for 5G and £200 million for local areas to encourage roll out of full-fibre networks . ###Business environment
  • launch and roll-out Sector Deals – partnerships between government and industry aiming to increase sector productivity; the first Sector Deals are in life sciences, construction, artificial intelligence and the automotive sector
  • drive over £20 billion of investment in innovative and high potential businesses, including through establishing a new £2.5 billion Investment Fund, incubated in the British Business Bank
  • launch a review of the actions that could be most effective in improving productivity and growth of small and medium-sized businesses, including how to address what has been called the ‘long tail’ of lower productivity firms


  • agree local industrial strategies that build on local strengths and deliver on economic opportunities
  • create a new transforming cities fund that will provide £1.7 billion for intra-city transport; this will fund projects that drive productivity by improving connections within city regions
  • provide £42 million to pilot a Teacher Development Premium; this will test the impact of a £1,000 budget for high-quality professional development for teachers working in areas that have fallen behind

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