New independent commission to shape a new industrial strategy for the UK

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

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

Last month Prime Minister Theresa May 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.

The commission will be officially launched at an event at the Royal Society today (Monday 6 March 2017).

Speakers at the launch will include:

  • Carolyn Fairbairn, Director General of the CBI
  • Juergen Maier, Chief Executive of Siemens UK
  • Professor Philip Nelson, Chief Executive of the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council and Chair of Research Councils UK
  • Professor Luke Georghiou, Vice-President for Research and Innovation at the University of Manchester
  • Professor Richard Jones, Fellow of the Royal Society and member of the Industrial Strategy Commission.

Dame Kate Barker, Chairman of The Industrial Strategy Commission, said: “We welcome the emerging consensus on the need for a fresh industrial strategy, including the Government’s recent green paper, but significant questions remain. 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.”

Professor Diane Coyle, Co-Director of Policy@Manchester and one of the Commissioners, said: "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."

Dr Craig Berry, Deputy Director of SPERI at the University of Sheffield and one of the Commissioners, said: “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. 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.”

Additional information

Find out more at industrialstrategycommission.org.uk and follow the Commission on Twitter at @IndStrategyComm

The five commissioners are:

  • Dame Kate Barker (Chair), one of Britain’s foremost economists and a member of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee between 2001-2010
  • Dr Craig Berry, Deputy Director of the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI) at the University of Sheffield
  • Professor Diane Coyle, Co-Director of Policy@Manchester
  • Professor Richard Jones, Professor of Physics and former Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation at the University of Sheffield
  • Professor Andrew Westwood, Associate Vice President for Public Affairs at the University of Manchester and Co-Director of Policy@Manchester

The Industrial Strategy Commission timeline

Open call for evidence published – Thursday 2 February 2017. Full details here.
Launch event – The Commission will be formally launched on Monday 6 March 2017 at the Royal Society in London between 6.00-7.30pm.
Evidence submission deadline – Tuesday 2 May 2017.
Key Findings report – to be published in July.
Final report – to be published in September.

Contact

For further information please contact:

Hannah Postles
Media Relations Officer
University of Sheffield
0114 222 1046
h.postles@sheffield.ac.uk