A letter to the Chancellor from three former business secretaries

22 November 2023

As former business secretaries, we are pleased that the Prime Minister has been so vocal in his ambition to turn the UK into a science superpower. The UK has an outstanding science and research base, including some of the world’s most prestigious universities and institutes, and a history ranging from the discovery of penicillin to the creation of pioneering AI models that are changing the world.

We need to leverage that science and research base to drive up the productivity of our workforce in all parts of Britain. Investors will respond to a clear industrial strategy for the UK that brings together founders, companies, researchers, government departments and local leaders to create the best conditions to turn discoveries into jobs. Building agreement across parties can give confidence to investors making long term decisions. 

The Society of Chemical Industry’s Manifesto for a Science & Innovation Strategy provides such a blueprint.

Today's Autumn Statement would be an important opportunity to launch a growth and investment strategy for Britain and we urge the Chancellor to seize it.

Your sincerely,

Lord Mandelson
Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills, 2008-10

Sir Vince Cable
Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills, 2010-15

The Rt Hon Greg Clark
Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, 2016-19

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