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Weekly Policy Round-up: 3 November 2017


Industrial Strategy needs ‘clarity’ to succeed, says report

A new report suggests that the government’s Industrial Strategy needs ‘redesigning’ if UK industry is to reach its potential. Calls for a Universal Basic Infrastructure, and more focus on health and social care were also included. The report was produced by the Industrial Strategy Commission – an independent initiative between the University of Manchester and University of Sheffield.

Chair of the commission, Dame Kate Baker, said the ‘Industrial Strategy needs to be embraced as a long-term plan to manage the economy strategically and embedded throughout government. The UK’s people, places and industries have great strengths and untapped potential, but we must accept the reality that the economy also contains many long-established weaknesses.’

Read ‘The Final Report of the Industrial Strategy Commissionhere.

Science Minister seeks UK-India research partnership

Jo Johnson, Universities & Science Minister, has announced future collaboration with India as part of the Newton-Bhaba Fund, which aims ‘to find joint solutions to the challenges facing India in economic development and social welfare. During a visit to India, Johnson also presented to the first two winners of the Newton Prize. The winning projects will receive £200,000 to develop a portable blood pressure device and a solar energy programme. Both projects are partnerships between the UK and India.

The minister said: ‘The Newton Prize demonstrates how the UK is working with partners to address important international issues. This complements the work we are undertaking as part of our upcoming Industrial Strategy to support our world-class research and innovation sector.’

Life sciences industry vital to NHS improvement, government finds

The UK should ‘leverage’ biosciences research and industry base to improve patient outcomes and provide cost-effective treatments, a government response has found. The paper was jointly published by the Departments of Health and Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy in response to an Accelerated Access Review report that called for faster access to drugs, devices, and diagnostics to patients.

Other recommendations from the paper include the development horizon scanning – used to identify emerging issues and opportunities for improvement in policy – and streamlining medical product lines at national and local levels. £86m of funding will be designated to innovators working on technologies needed to overcome existing problems with the NHS.

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