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Lords to investigate the role of uk science in the industrial strategy

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee today launch its new short investigation into the UK's Industrial Strategy. The Committee will begin this work with two evidence sessions on Tuesday 14th March when it will question leading academics.

The Government's Industrial Strategy Green Paper states that it wants to address long-term challenges to the UK economy whilst increasing productivity and driving growth across the whole country. It also outlines “Sector Deals” to support specific industries to better distribute growth across the UK.

This investigation will concentrate on the science, technology and innovation aspects of the Industrial Strategy Green Paper and address how effective the new policies in skills development, international trade and upgrading infrastructure will be for encouraging innovation.

In the first evidence session Committee will question the witnesses on issues including whether the sectoral approach of the new industrial strategy is a welcome approach.

In the second session witnesses will provide an insight on how the industrial strategy may affect innovation across the UK.

At 10:40am the Committee will hear evidence from:

  • Professor Dame Ann Dowling OM DBE FRS FREng, President, The Royal Academy of Engineering
  • Professor Iain Gray CBE FREng FRSE, Vice President, The Royal Society of Edinburgh
  • Professor Hywel Thomas CBE FRS FREng, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research, Innovation and Engagement, University of Cardiff, Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales

Questions they are likely to face include:

  • Is the balance of emphasis in the strategy between established businesses and emerging ones equal?
  • Does the Industrial Strategy present a single coherent strategy for the UK or is it a portfolio of chapters, each setting out its own strategy?
  • Should the Government try to provide help for every business in every sector and every region?

At 11:40am the Committee will hear evidence from:

  • Professor Richard Jones FRS, Sheffield University, The Industrial Strategy Commission launched by Manchester and Sheffield Universities.
  • Heather Jones, CEO, The Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre
  • Professor Robert Allison, Vice-Chancellor and President, Loughborough University

Questions they are likely to face include:

  • Does the strategy reflects the distinctive characteristics and priorities of the regions and nations of the UK?
  • Does the Government need to do more ensure the Industrial Strategy is in keeping with its environmental aims and objectives?
  • The strategy aims to stimulate business investment in R&D.  Does it strike the right balance between stimuli (such as the R&D tax credit and the industrial strategy challenge fund) delivered at a UK-wide level and distinctive initiatives at regional and devolved levels?

The evidence session will take place in Committee room 4A on Tuesday 14 March in the House of Lords at 10:40 am.

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