Industrial Strategy: More energy intensive firms to be exempt from policy costs?

Reuters

Business Secretary Greg Clark has today (27 November) launched the UK's much-anticipated Industrial Strategy, which sets out a vision for clean technology and innovation to play a key role in boosting the UK's long-term economic prospects. The strategy will help these sectors grow and equip businesses for future opportunities, backed by private sector co-investment.

The new "Transforming food production: from farm to fork" programme aims to boost sustainable agricultural practices, by increasing incentives for producers to embrace innovative technologies and techniques.

Sector deals: Partnerships between government, business and government to pursue innovation in life sciences, artificial intelligence, the automotive industry and the construction sectors.

You can access the full 255-page "Industrial Strategy: Building a Britain fit for the future" here. One of the strategy's "Grand Challenges" surrounds the use and harnessing of artificial intelligence (AI), and the paper notes that one application of AI could be to enable more efficient use of resources: 'For example, intelligent algorithms applied to data on atmospheric conditions and soil moisture could dramatically reduce the amount of water needed for agriculture'.

The Government has released its Industrial Strategy with a focus on four "growth industries", set for billions of pounds in extra investment.

Prime Minister Theresa May said: "Our modern Industrial Strategy will shape a stronger and fairer economy for decades to come".

Clean growth - we will maximise the advantages for United Kingdom industry from the global shift to clean growth.




It also outlines four "grand challenges" in research, developed after consultation with UK science: to "put the UK at the forefront of the artificial intelligence and data revolution"; "maximise the advantages for UK industry from the global shift to clean growth"; "become a world leader in shaping the future of mobility"; and "harness the power of innovation to help meet the needs of an ageing society".

Terry Scuoler, Chief Executive of EEF, the manufacturers' organisation, said: "The introduction of a new industrial strategy is key to supporting efforts to improve productivity and invest in not just current industries, but those of the future which are set to radically change the ways in which people live and work".

Clark claims the new industrial strategy will "take the sting out of" the Brexit uncertainty, but commentators have questioned how the United Kingdom can be competitive without a trade deal to move goods between countries in a cost-effective manner.

'The move to cleaner economic growth - through low carbon technologies and the efficient use of resources", it says "is one of the greatest industrial opportunities of our time.

The Industrial Strategy is meant to push the United Kingdom towards the forefront of the data-driven revolution.

Laurie Miles, director of Analytics at SAS UK & Ireland commented: "Finally, the Government has woken up and recognised that getting ahead in the digital economy is vital to Britain's productivity puzzle".

The vote of confidence in Britain's life sciences sector was welcomed by the government after the news last week that the European Medicines Agency would move from London to Amsterdam when Britain leaves the EU in March 2019. "Only then, will we create an innovative culture effective for driving the United Kingdom forward in this global and competitive market".

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