03 Apr 2017
The government is right to commit to an industrial strategy that seeks to identify and build on strengths within the UK economy. It is also right to acknowledge that, for many years now and particularly since the 2008 financial crisis, growth has been imbalanced. It has been concentrated on London and the south-east of England to the detriment of other parts of the UK. Therefore, the emphasis on ‘place’ throughout the industrial strategy is of huge importance.
Modern universities are well placed to play a leading role in the government’s industrial strategy. They are key players in their localities, at the heart of links with companies developing major new technologies as well as small and medium-sized enterprises and they are leading the modern apprenticeship agenda.
The industrial strategy should take the opportunity to reform science and research funding to be far more dynamic, and better focused on supporting the areas of research that can make a difference to small and medium enterprises in all regions of the country.