Published: Tue, November 28, 2017
Finance | By Kristine Clayton

Industrial Strategy earmarks £170 million for construction sector transformation

Industrial Strategy earmarks £170 million for construction sector transformation

Business secretary Greg Clark called the strategy "an unashamedly ambitious vision for the future of our country", arguing it will help address four "grand challenges" facing the UK.

The government said it would create "Sector Deals" to help improve efficiency in the construction industry, develop and improve artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and enable the automotive sector to get cleaner.

An Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund will set £725m set aside over the next three years.

"Britain's productivity performance has not been good enough and is holding back our earning power as a country". It focuses on five foundations of productivity - ideas, people, infrastructure, business environment and places.

Investments by a number of pharmaceutical companies into the United Kingdom will form a key part of the Sector Deal, a central Industrial Strategy measure, set to be signed in the coming weeks by the life sciences sector and government.

Trade minister Greg Clark said the Government's plans "will ensure Britain continues to be at the forefront of innovation and represents a huge vote of confidence in our Industrial Strategy".

Carolyn Fairbairn, the director general of the Confederation of British Industry, warned that today's announcement "must be the beginning of a strategic race, not a tactical sprint", and urged the government to ensure the effects of Brexit were not allowed to harm industrial strategies as they are rolled out across the nation.

"The Industrial Strategy can have a transformative impact on the UK's economy, driving low carbon innovation and the continued growth of jobs, skills and supply chains", Molho said. This new state-of-the-art United Kingdom hub is meant to help ensure innovative research into future treatments for patients and pioneering medicines are completed in Britain, according to business secretary Greg Clark.

"A new United Kingdom location will enable us to build on our proud legacy of invention and be an important contributor to the vibrant and rapidly growing United Kingdom life sciences community, while providing access for more collaborations within the European life science ecosystem".

"Investments by world-renowned companies like MSD and QIAGEN demonstrate that the UK's science base is truly world-leading and an exceptional national strength", said chair of the Life Science Industrial Strategy Advisory Board, Sir John Bell.

Our modern Industrial Strategy will shape a stronger and fairer economy for decades to come. It will drive this sector forward and simultaneously attract other investments into the UK.

The industrial strategy follows hot on the heels of the clean growth strategy (CGS), launched in October.

Her 255-page white paper - which adopts a hands-on approach to business that had largely been abandoned since the time of Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s - is being seen as an attempt to define her administration beyond Brexit, while also charting a new vision for the United Kingdom as it prepares to leave the European Union.

CEO of QIAGEN, Peer M. Schatz said: "We are very excited about this partnership with Health Innovation Manchester, and the essential engagement of the University of Manchester, the NHS Trust and the United Kingdom government".

"These deals are just the first steps but will be instrumental in securing the future strength of the United Kingdom life sciences industry, helping the United Kingdom economy prosper and allowing NHS patients to get better and faster access to world-class medicines discovered and developed here in Britain".

The UK has committed to raising total research and development (R&D) investment to 2.4% of GDP by 2027 and increasing the rate of R&D tax credit to 12%.

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". Government will be working with industry and academia to deliver this goal.

The Strategy comes after a green paper consultation earlier this year received nearly 2,000 responses from industry and academia.

Published this morning, the industrial strategy places clean growth among four "Grand Challenges" that it aims to solve.

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