What role will universities play in the UK’s industrial strategy?

Industrial clusters could be encouraged around universities.

'It is thus far unclear what a “proper industrial strategy”, as Ms May put it in a speech shortly before becoming prime minister, might mean in policy terms. MPs on the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee have launched an inquiry into the new approach, looking at questions such as how much the government should intervene in the market, how it decides which sectors to support, and what can be learned from other countries.

However, Mr Clark set out some of the overriding principles of the new strategy in a speech at the end of July to the Royal Society.

He said that the principles of “excellence”, “agility”, “collaboration between disciplines and sectors”, “the importance of place” and “openness and internationalism” would inform the new plan.

“We should form this strategy together, because it is obvious that no successful strategy can be drawn up without the full-hearted participation of the people who know their industries, their prospects, their technologies and their strengths; the people who live and breathe business, research, science and innovation,” he told the assembled scientists.

One of the problems Mr Clark may have to confront is how to both fund “excellence” and make sure investment does not go to already wealthy areas of the country. In UK research, for example, research funding has historically been distributed on the basis of excellence, but this, say some critics, has led to concentration in the golden triangle of London, Oxford and Cambridge.' - Times Higher Education


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1st September 2016