As Prime Minister Teresa May wrestles with plans for Brexit the UK government has published a significant Green Paper on its emerging Industrial Strategy. The aim of the paper is to establish an industrial strategy for the long term – to provide a policy framework against which major public and private sector investment decisions can be made. Industry, research organisations and other interested parties and invited to respond to the paper not later than 17th April 2017.
Within the paper, the government identifies 10 significant pillars: science, research and innovation; skills; infrastructure; business growth and investment; procurement; trade and investment; affordable energy; sectoral policies; driving growth across the whole country; and creating the right institutions to bring together sectors and places. From SYMETA's perspective the research and innovation pillar is the most significant.
The paper identifies additional investment of £4.7 billion by 2020- 21 in R&D funding. It is seeking input into how this money might be spent setting out options ranging from investment in local science and innovation strengths, and increased support for commercialisation, to investing in future research talent. For example, by increasing the number of PhDs in the STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and maths. It also consults on the technologies which the new Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund could support, including: smart and clean energy technologies (such as storage and demand response grid technologies); robotics and artificial intelligence (including connected and autonomous vehicles and drones); satellites and space technologies; leading edge healthcare and medicine; manufacturing processes and materials of the future; biotechnology and synthetic biology quantum technologies, and transformative digital technologies including supercomputing, advanced modelling, and 5G mobile networks. Several of these areas have significance for SYMETA.