EPSRC and the Industrial Strategy

two yellow industrial robots manufacturing cars in a factory assembly line

In 2017 the UK government published the Industrial Strategy white paper, Building a Britain fit for the Future.

The Industrial Strategy reinforces the importance of five foundations of productivity:

  • Ideas - the world's most innovative economy
  • People - good jobs and greater earning power for all
  • Infrastructure - a major upgrade to the UK's infrastructure
  • Business environment - the best place to start and grow a business
  • Places - prosperous communities across the UK

And sets out four Grand Challenges:

  • AI and the data driven economy - putting the UK at the forefront of the artificial intelligence and data revolution
  • Clean growth - maximising the advantages for UK industry from the global shift to clean growth
  • The future of mobility - being a world leader in shaping the future of mobility
  • Ageing society - harnessing the power of innovation to help meet the needs of an ageing society

Key policies within the Industrial Strategy include:

  • Raising total research and development (R&D) investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027
  • Investing £725 million in new Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) programmes to capture the value of innovation
  • Developing a new competitive Strategic Priorities Fund, which builds on the vision of a 'common fund' set out in Sir Paul Nurse's review.
  • Launching a new International Research and Innovation Strategy in early 2018 in partnership with UK Research and Innovation and a £110m fund for International Collaborations to enhance the UK's excellence in research and innovation through global engagement.
  • Invest £300 million over the next three years in world-class talent including in priority areas aligned with the Industrial Strategy, such as artificial intelligence, to enhance our skilled workforce and attract private sector R&D investment.
  • Launch and roll-out Sector Deals - partnerships between government and industry aiming to increase sector productivity. The first Sector Deals are in life sciences, construction, artificial intelligence and the automotive sector
  • Launch a new competitive £115m Strength in Places Fund to support areas to build on their science and innovation strengths and develop stronger local networks

EPSRC welcomes the Government's commitment to raising investment in R&D to 2.4% of GDP by 2027 and to reach 3% of GDP in the longer term, while emphasising the need to grow and sustain capability to discover in order to be able to achieve the translation to create the value in the future.

The following are the current Industrial Strategy areas: