The Industrial Strategy white paper was published back in the last quarter of 2017. In this article we revisit the strategy and take a look at what’s been achieved since it was released. Greg Clark, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy stated that there had been 4 grand challenges identified by the state. They are;
- AI and Big data
- Clean Growth
- Future of Mobility
- Meeting the Needs of an Ageing Society
The strategy draws on the experience both of foreign governments and previous UK governments in their efforts to position their countries as leading innovation experts and increase GDP, jobs and living standards. In terms of incentive to meet these challenges the white paper states that an additional £7bn of public funding, over 5 years, will be invested largely through R&D funding/ tax credits. .
What has been done so far in regard to the industrial strategy?
The future of mobility has been set in motion by a company based in Finland. ‘Whim’ is being called the modern alternative for the daily commuter and the alternative for owning a car. Although the company isn’t English, their projects are sweeping the UK and the Far East.
They say, “Here at Whim we believe there’s the right vehicle for each and every journey. Sometimes it’s a car but often it’s a train, a bus, a tram, a bike or a taxi. That’s why we’ve created a smarter way to get around and a more affordable option to car ownership.”
The company have been awarded The European Start-up Prize for Mobility and once rolled out successfully in Birmingham Whim will be rolled out to the rest of the UK .
AI and big data?
First let’s start by defining what this actually means. According to the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour, AI is about “giving computers behaviours which would be thought intelligent in human beings”. And the way to train these computers is, of course, big data which means that the two go hand in hand. The way they are able to become intelligent is by reading algorithms that have been learned through inputted data in computers.
How is AI going to help the country?
AI will help the country in various different ways. It’s already been suggested by Babylon Health, that their AI app can diagnose health conditions better than their human counter parts. In the UK students need to pass tough exams to qualify as a doctor This test isn’t public so the developers at Babylon managed to get their hands on past questions. In order to pass this test doctors have to get a 72% pass rate. Babylon claim that their chatbot got 82% on this test. However, physicians are not convinced of its accuracy. Although this data could help a lot of people get diagnosed more quickly for acute medical problems and in a few years, who knows, this could be a first stage process before you go and see a GP Ultimately potentially leading to shorter waiting times on the NHS and saving money by making more services efficient and streamlined.
How has clean growth came along since the industrial strategy was introduced?
Clean growth was another grand challenge that the industrial strategy wanted to focus on. Although the government is striving for the country to grow, they want this to be done as ‘cleanly’ as possible.
This cleanliness relates directly to the environment and the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Paris. This is to be done by lowering fuel emissions and the reducing the use of fossil fuels which has been done by Jaguar and Tesla currently in the race to see who can build the most efficient and desirable car. By 2040 hopes are that diesel and petrol-based cars won’t be made anymore and this is reflected in the governments intention to ban internal combustion engine vehicles beyond this date.
As well as the mobility cleanliness, household emissions are targetted to meet the minimum energy performance standard by 2035 and no food waste will be permitted go to landfill by 2030. In addition to all of this there are further plans to continue pressing for more wind turbines and bio-degradable fuels.
Meeting the needs of an ageing society
As living standards are improving, the population is ageing which means there is more demand for services from older generations. Theresa May says that she wants to meet the demands of an ageing population and give them as much independence as possible. More than 10 million people over the age of 65 are living in the UK at the moment – a figure that is set to double by 2050.
Innovation, research and development will all be needed to cater for the ageing society and help them to remain active and independent for as long as possible. Ageing is a triumph of development in itself. However, what comes along with this is that working lives are extended. People will have to make better choices surrounding their careers and provision for their retirement. As the living age rises, so does the pension age. Can a labourer be a labourer until they’re 75? Will allowances be made for those with strenuous jobs and if so how are the government planning to do this?
Are you contributing to one of the grand challenges?
9 months on and everybody is clear on the guidelines. There is a reward for contributing to these 4 grand challenges, and only the future can tell whether the guidelines and timescales for these markers to be hit will be met. If you are innovating or contributing to any of the 4 grand challenges and are a company that has UK offices, are UK registered and paying corporation tax make sure you get in touch and see how much you could claim back.