“Sector Pioneers” are key to rebuilding the UK economy.
The UK Government’s Industrial Strategy, first published on 27th November 2017 with the strapline “Building a Britain fit for the future” couldn’t have come to light at a more fitting point in our country’s history, and perhaps more importantly, continued evolution.
The Industrial Strategy is essentially a roadmap of the key challenges facing the country and sets out grand plans to encourage society at large to be ambitious in seeking to identify and then develop solutions to the problems the country faces.
We are leaving the top-level explanation of the Industrial Strategy purposefully loose as the impact and scope of the strategy permeates all of society at every age.
The vision and message are crystal clear, the country needs to do more to build a fairer Britain of tomorrow that improves life for all.
At the time of writing this article, it is now approaching three years since it was published, and we are amid a degree of social unrest. We are still in the thick of the Coronavirus pandemic and just like Brexit did before it, differing outlooks on the handling of the Pandemic is dividing opinion.
Perhaps then the Industrial Strategy should be lauded from the rooftops to those risking wider public safety by going against Government advice and attending unauthorized gatherings. Indeed, it makes for a refreshing, extremely ambitious, optimistic and forward-thinking read.
As a person of business, it might interest you to go over again the key initiatives in the Industrial Strategy, as this provides the fertile ground for the country to emerge leaner and stronger in the future.
Here are the key aims of the UK Industrial Strategy:
- Investing in science, research and innovation – We must become a more innovative economy and do more to commercialise our world-leading science base to drive growth across the UK.
- Developing skills – We must help people and businesses to thrive by ensuring everyone has the basic skills needed in a modern economy; building a new system of technical education to benefit the half of young people who do not go to university; boosting STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) skills, digital skills and numeracy; and by raising skill levels in lagging areas.
- Upgrading infrastructure – We must upgrade our standards of performance on digital, energy, transport, water and flood defence infrastructure, and better align central government infrastructure investment with local growth priorities.
- Supporting businesses to start and grow – We must ensure that businesses across the UK can access the finance and management skills they need to grow; and we must create the right conditions for companies to invest for the long term.
- Improving procurement – We must use strategic government procurement to drive innovation and enable the development of UK supply chains;
- Encouraging trade and inward investment policy – Government policy can help boost productivity and growth across our economy, including by increasing competition and helping to bring new ways of doing things to the UK.
- Delivering affordable energy and clean growth – We need to keep costs down for businesses and secure the economic benefits of the transition to a low-carbon economy.
- Cultivating world-leading sectors – We must build on our areas of competitive advantage, and help new sectors to flourish, in many cases challenging existing institutions and incumbents;
- Driving growth across the whole country – We will create a framework to build on the particular strengths of different places and address factors that hold places back – whether it is investing in key infrastructure projects to encourage growth, increasing skill levels, or backing local innovation strengths.
- Creating the right institutions to bring together sectors and places – We will consider the best structures to support people, industries and places. In some places and sectors there may be missing institutions which we could create, or existing ones we could strengthen, be they local civic or educational institutions, trade associations or financial networks.
The immediate situation is not familiar territory for business leaders, with day-to-day business technically being on-hold or at least severely inhibited. Take solace in this fantastic vision from our forward-thinking leaders.
If you’re still with me, then the keys to your future business success remain embedded somewhere within the industrial strategy. If you have not read it yet, you should. Use this time wisely as there are ample business opportunities for innovative companies to pursue who use this strategy as their roadmap.
Almost as an uncanny cherry on the cake is that many of the goals seek to address for me, what are some of the areas of simmering unrest in society.
There are various ‘Grand Challenges’ laid down by the Government approaching three years ago that your business can and should take full advantage of. This is not some secret doctrine only for the few, this is a common-sense approach asking all of society to give a thought on how to tackle the issues we as a tolerant and diverse society face.
Here are the Grand Challenge-best business opportunities UK:
- Artificial intelligence and data – We will put the UK at the forefront of the AI and data revolution.
Mission: Use data, Artificial Intelligence and innovation to transform the prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of chronic diseases by 2030
Using AI and data, there is an opportunity to accelerate medical research in early diagnosis, leading to better prevention and treatment of disease. Within 15 years better use of AI and data could result in over 50,000 more people each year having their cancers diagnosed at an early rather than late stage. This would mean around 20,000 fewer people dying within 5 years of their diagnosis compared to today.
This mission aims to put the UK at the forefront of the use of AI and data in early diagnosis, innovation, prevention and treatment. Success in this mission is one of a number of steps towards saving lives and increasing NHS efficiency by enabling earlier diagnosis and reducing the need for costly late-stage treatment. The opportunity – working with academia, the charitable sector, and industry and harnessing the power of AI and data technologies – is considerable. It should lead to a whole new industry of diagnostic and tech companies which would drive UK economic growth.
- Ageing society – We will harness the power of innovation to help meet the needs of an ageing society.
Mission: Ensure that people can enjoy at least 5 extra healthy, independent years of life by 2035, while narrowing the gap between the experience of the richest and poorest
We are living longer lives because of medical advances, better drugs, healthier lifestyles, and safer workplaces. A girl born in the UK today has a 1 in 3 chance of living to 100, and the chance of living to 100 will double in the next 50 years. Given this trend, it’s time to radically rethink how we respond, at each stage in life, to the way that we support our families and communities, as well as the way that we approach work, finances, health and care, and housing.
This mission aims to ensure that people can enjoy at least 5 extra healthy, independent years of life by 2035, while narrowing the gap between the experience of the richest and poorest. Success in this mission will help people remain independent for longer, continue to participate through work and within their communities, and stay connected to others to counter the epidemic of loneliness.
- Clean growth – We will maximise the advantages for UK industry from the global shift to clean growth.
Mission: At least halve the energy use of new buildings by 2030
Heating and powering buildings accounts for 40% of our total energy usage in the UK. By making our buildings more energy efficient and embracing smart technologies, we can cut household energy bills, reduce demand for energy, and boost economic growth while meeting our targets for carbon reduction.
For homes this will mean halving the total use of energy compared to today’s standards for new build. This will include a building’s use of energy for heating and cooling and appliances, but not transport.
Mission: Establish the world’s first net-zero carbon industrial cluster by 2040 and at least 1 low-carbon cluster by 2030
- Future of mobility – Future of mobility
Mission: Put the UK at the forefront of the design and manufacturing of zero-emission vehicles, with all new cars and vans effectively zero emission by 2040
How we get around is going to change significantly in the future. New technologies, such as zero-emission vehicles and self-driving cars, are improving transport to make it safer, cleaner and better connected.
This mission aims to put the UK at the forefront of the design and manufacture of zero-emission vehicles and sets an ambition for all new cars and vans to be effectively zero emission by 2040. This will help improve the air we breathe, support the shift to clean growth, and help the UK seize new economic opportunities.
We like to feel that most business leaders are optimistic in nature, hell, if you were not would you ever have taken the leap of faith setting up your company in the first place?
If this is the first time you have heard of the industrial strategy this document should give your business hope amongst the current climate of prevailing madness. The Government has long had an ambitious plan, and it is up to us all to work together to embrace the challenges and rise to the occasion.
Britain, perhaps, has not for a long-time faced such stormy waters however, we will prevail.
I am fortunate to be in the position I am. I am privy to many of the private and confidential advances UK businesses are making, and I am honoured to be a part of the ongoing metamorphosis of our country to create the future so desired by all.
You might recall from the list above, the very first point is that the Government wishes to see more investment in research, innovation, and science.
This is your business’s BIG OPPORTUNITY.
People keep banging the drum for things getting ‘back to normal…’
I implore you not to.
I hope to rally you to not want to return to normal. Normal does not create an advance.
Out of every crisis there emerges and opportunity. Seize it. With both bloody hands!
Now is your opportunity to set to work on that idea you had but never quite got around to because ‘business as normal’ got in the way.
Start to plan now. We all have the same hours in a day. I don’t want to throw a cliché out there but it’s true, it’s what we do with our biggest assets of time and money that counts.
I am adamant that the businesses who are still around in 24 months will be the ones who pushed the boat out and set off on their own mini-adventure striving towards an advance in their industry or perhaps by conceiving an idea and plan that leads to a seismic shift in world society.
Inertia in any activity is disastrous. Perhaps more so in business.
We are an award-winning business support company whose core services strengthen your business’s bottom line.
Our senior management team has over 30 years’ experience helping guide and protect businesses from a minefield of potential problems born out of getting the legislation affecting their business wrong.
Our team is deeply interested in helping to encourage the business community of the UK step-up by thinking big and taking practical steps to achieve results.
Any business out there who invests in the pursuit of innovation will be pleased to learn that with our help, they can recover up to 33% of their business improvement costs back invested in qualifying projects.
Our vision is to fundamentally change that landscape of possibility in the UK inline with the Governments Industrial Strategy. In our opinion, the Industrial Strategy is more strategically relevant to businesses now perhaps more than any other time since it was published.
Come on Britain, let’s do business! We will rebuild Britain into the world leader in innovation once again.
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