Westminster Business Forum

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Next steps for UK industrial policy

Morning, Wednesday, 19th June 2024

This conference will assess next steps for the UK’s industrial policy and priorities for supporting both local and national economic growth.

With the approach of the General Election, it will bring stakeholders and policymakers together to examine opportunities to build on the UK’s industrial strengths, increase economic security and support meeting the domestic net zero target by 2050, following the launch of the Business and Trade Committee’s inquiry into the Government’s approach to industrial policy.

Delegates will assess key issues and priorities for the UK’s industrial strategy moving forward, including in the five growth sectors identified by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, which include advanced manufacturing, creative industries, digital technology, green industries and life sciences.

Attendees will discuss strategic options for supporting the UK’s long-term interests including priorities for R&D, innovation and investment and for policy to support UK industrial growth, including strengthening domestic and international partnerships, and developing the skills pipeline.

Responsibilities of devolved administrations and the development and impact of localised strategies will also be discussed, including how to best channel continued governmental commitment to the devolution and levelling up agenda.

Overall, areas for discussion include:

  • approaches to industrial policy in the UK: analysing focus industries, such as advanced manufacturing, green industries, life sciences, creative industries and digital technology
  • encouraging industry development: fostering innovation and competition - attracting inward investment - support for start-ups and SMEs - regional development - industry partnerships
  • R&D: industrial research partnerships with universities and key institutions - effective collaborative frameworks to foster innovation and skills development - growing the talent pipeline
  • channelling industrial strategy to support key policy goals: economic growth and security - job creation - the transition to net zero - levelling up
  • global outreach: looking at opportunities for UK industries to form international industry partnerships and attract foreign investment - learning from international industrial strategy
  • local leadership: assessing the impact of the local devolution agenda - the role of local leadership in determining local economic strategies and development

Keynote Speaker

Benedict Macon-Cooney

Chief Policy Strategist, Tony Blair Institute for Global Change

Keynote Speaker

Benedict Macon-Cooney

Chief Policy Strategist, Tony Blair Institute for Global Change


Seamus Nevin

Interim Policy Director, Make UK

Hilary Chipping

Chief Executive, South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership

Giles Wilkes

Specialist Partner, Flint Global; and Senior Fellow, Institute for Government

Sharon Todd

Chief Executive Officer, Society of Chemical Industry

Professor Luke Georghiou

Deputy President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Manchester

Louise Hellem

Chief Economist, Confederation of British Industry

Dr Anna Valero

Director of Growth Programme, Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics