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The Catapult Network Responds to the Industrial Strategy Green Paper

On 23 January 2017, Greg Clark, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, released the ‘Building our Industrial Strategy’ green paper for consultation. The strategy sets out the approach to addresses long-term challenges to the UK economy, including the government's intention to invest £1 billion into cutting-edge technologies to create jobs and raise living standards.

The Chief Executives of the Catapult network welcome the move to build a modern industrial strategy, with the government playing an active role to back business, building on our strategic strengths and raising productivity to meet tomorrow’s challenges. We believe this will deliver a stronger and fairer economy that works for all of the UK.

The role of the Catapults is multi-faceted. Our network provides support in carefully chosen technologies and sectors, bridging the gap between early research and industrial commercialisation; and accelerating the exploitation of new technologies and developments by companies in the UK. In each of our sectors we tackle barriers to commercialisation that are too large or too early for individual companies to address on their own; and of course to ensure that resulting jobs and innovation are anchored in the UK.

As part of our Plan for Britain this government wants to create a modern Industrial Strategy to support the key sectors of our economy and spread jobs, prosperity and opportunity around the whole country.

– Greg Clark, Business and Energy Secretary

The Catapults are committed to helping to make the development and implementation of the Industrial Strategy a success. We welcome the increased investment, particularly in the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund on which we are working closely with Innovate UK. We are already involved in the ongoing reviews within life sciences, creative industries, ultra-low emission vehicles, and industrial digitalisation, with technology playing a fundamental role in changing these sectors.

We are very pleased to see that the first pillar of the Industrial Strategy is investing in science, research and innovation. As a network of technology and innovation centres we believe the Catapults play a unique role in building on the strength of our science base, while delivering a step change in our ability to commercialise research. It is also important to acknowledge that much innovation now comes from innovative start-up companies as much as it comes from university-led research. Understanding how to leverage both will be key to strengthening both the UK’s international competitiveness and our ability to address key societal challenges.

The network of Catapults set up since 2012 is already providing businesses with access to the best technical expertise, infrastructure, skills and equipment across the UK, and promotes deeper collaboration between research and business.

We look forward to working with government on this, as key delivery partners, for a dynamic and innovative Industrial Strategy.

Read the full Catapult Network Joint Response.

Read HM Government’s Industrial Strategy press release.

 

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