The government has committed an extra £750m (€839m) to its Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF), covering a range of areas for developing assets in future technology.
The creation of an independent industrial strategy council has also been announced for next year, which will hold the government to account and make recommendations for the strategy.
The ISCF was first established in April, with an initial endowment of £1bn. It aims to boost UK technological research in areas such as AI, robotics, communication infrastructure, connected vehicles, clean energy and manufacturing, among others.
Specific measures include a £2.5bn innovation fund incubated in the British Business Bank, a £31bn addition to the infrastructure-oriented National Productivity Investment Fund, and £1.7bn for “transforming cities”.
Simon Goldie, head of asset finance at the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA), said: “We welcome the government’s commitment to continued funding for the UK’s Growth Hubs, and the expansion of their role to help ensure that all businesses have access to these essential services. We are also keen to see that growth hubs and the British Business Bank will be working together more closely – as the FLA has suggested.”
Mike Cherry, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said: “FSB has been delighted to work with the Business Secretary Greg Clark as he delivers this government’s first Industrial Strategy. The UK’s 5.5 million small businesses have a huge role to play, if we are to increase productivity across the economy, and in every sector. This is the only way to achieve sustained wage growth and higher living standards.
Juergen Maier, chief executive officer of Siemens UK, said that Siemens off-shore wind farm in the Humber had been achieved by working with the government’s Industrial Strategy and that future opportunities lay ahead.
Maier said: “Through today’s Industrial Strategy announcement we are optimistic that through greater investment in R&D, and especially through the application of advanced industrial digital technologies like AI and robotics, we can support many more new and existing manufacturing industries – raising productivity and creating thousands of new highly skilled and well paid jobs.”