Independent commission to shape new industrial strategy for the UK

Academics at The University of Manchester and The University of Sheffield have launched a major new independent policy commission to shape the Government’s industrial strategy.

The Industrial Strategy Commission, led jointly by Policy@Manchester and the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI), will be an authoritative inquiry into the development of a new, long-term industrial strategy for the UK.

The Prime Minister recently unveiled a new Green Paper and a ten-point plan for a new, more interventionist, industrial strategy, including investing in science, developing skills, upgrading infrastructure and ensuring growth is shared across the country.

The Commission, chaired by leading economist Dame Kate Barker, will provide evidence-based policy recommendations for the development of the new industrial strategy. An open call for evidence has been announced.

It will engage with leading UK and international industry experts, businesses and organisations – and will cover key themes, including new technology, science and innovation, the geography of growth, infrastructure and the challenges and opportunities of climate change and energy transitions. It will publish its Key Findings in July 2017 with a final report published in September 2017.

There is growing recognition that the UK economy needs strategic partnership between public and private sector. This creates an opportunity to take a long-term perspective on the strengths and weaknesses of different kinds of business and different parts of the country. The Commission will do this by bringing together the wealth of detailed insight available in business, academia, national and local government and other public bodies. We will assess the opportunities for improving the UK’s economic performance and the shortcomings that need to be overcome.
Professor Diane Coyle, Co-Director of Policy@Manchester and one of the Commissioners

"We welcome the emerging consensus on the need for a fresh industrial strategy, including the Government’s recent green paper, but significant questions remain," said Dame Kate Barker, Chairman of The Industrial Strategy Commission. "What are the key strengths and weaknesses of the UK economy across the different geographies? What is the right relationship between the state, business and other bodies including universities? And what lessons should we take from past UK experience and international comparisons? The Industrial Strategy Commission has been set up to answer these questions."

"The UK Government's approach to supporting British industry needs a serious rethink. Our current economic model is failing, and the spectre of Brexit underlines the need for new ideas and presents a major opportunity to shape long-term policy," said Dr Craig Berry, Deputy Director of SPERI at the University of Sheffield and one of the Commissioners. "Over the coming months, the Commission will work with businesses, policymakers and leading experts to help to develop a new long-term industrial strategy for the UK."

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