UK~IRC Researcher Hosts Vince Cable and Industry Strategy
Hosted by UK~IRC researcher, Professor David Gann, Vince Cable, the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills, visited Imperial College Business School today (11 September) to launch the government's industry and growth strategy. Imperial, as a research and teaching centre, has a long reputation of putting new ideas into practice, Professor Gann explained.
Working with David Willetts and Lord Heseltine as well as the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Dr Cable explained that the strategy creates a strategic view on economic decisions and takes a long-term approach to commitments by working closely with businesses. He went on to outline the 5 key focuses for industry and growth:
Finance - developing a "Business Bank" to address the dearth of long-term loans to SMEs. This would be a government-backed institution the scale of which is being worked on.
Sectoral - the government intends to work flexibly with core economic sectors across the spectrum to promote growth, including those that function autonomously, as well as those requiring significant levels of intervention. In the next few days, Dr Cable announced, the Government would publish a report on sectoral support, and strategic approaches for each area are planned at intervals within the next year.
Emerging Technologies - Dr Cable explained that the Government had not only considered the likely areas of technological development in the next 20 years, but had announced competitions for core disciplines, including initiatives such as TSB's catapult centres for High Value Manufacturing.
Skills - The recent focus on apprenticeships, he explained, has seen a 63% increased in such opportunities and the government is now moving to Employer-Ownership schemes to develop novel levels of training. 34 bids have been received in the first round which will lead to 11,000 new apprenticeships. Dr Cable announced that a second round was now open.
Procurement - By joining up decisions across government, Dr Cable explained that firms would be able to take a longer-term approach to investment decisions and improve business efficiency.
Professor Gann concluded with thanks for the vision and ambition of the strategy, feeling that a dialogue has begun, to consider more deeply the processes of engagement that will realise these aims, and face the challenges of moving from a traditional manufacturing-based to a new and multi-faceted knowledge economy. He also welcomed the reconfiguration of sectors which presented opportunities for the UK to develop international standards in this area.
To find out more about the strategy and to download a copy please visit the BIS website.