An industrial strategy should include a focus on robotics and automation

In a fast changing world, and one where Britain is free from the European Union, we need to identify and invest in industries where we can be successful. There is discussion that the Theresa May government is considering the creation of an industrial strategy. In this discussion, some see the way UK Sport prioritised investment in sports where we have a good chance of winning, as being a worthwhile approach.

Robotics_workshop_2Yes, the UK Sport approach has its advantages, where I think the key ones are; a sound vision, identifying talent and then investing in it, and a relentless focus and performance measurement. Me, I’d like to make it easier for innovators – like Trevor Bayliss and his wind-up radio invention – to access investment and to set-up in business with the minimum of fuss.

I’m pleased to see Robot Wars back on the BBC, though I’d also like to see the return of programmes like The Great Egg Race – we need to promote the fun and excitement of innovation and problem solving.

Here are a couple of articles on the likely areas of investment,

Nicholas Mazzei writes in TRG on 25th Jul 2016 on Taming the Terminator: how Britain can lead on robotics and automation. The crux of his article is,

We should therefore create a department for Digital, Robotics and Automation and designate a dedicated minister to ensure Britain is not only prepared for the Robotic age but also leading the world in this designing, building and delivering this technology. It is this lack of automation which leaves Britain’s productivity per head behind countries such as Norway, USA and even France.

William Hague, in the Daily Telegraph, writes – A new industrial revolution is coming. Is Theresa May ready for the chaos it could unleash?. He concludes in his article,

Some big businesses do have to change their attitudes, and the idea of binding shareholder votes on executive pay is a good one, but the emphasis must be on making the UK the best possible home of the thrusting, innovating, risk-taking user of new technology and ideas.

Leaving the EU makes it all the more vital that we chart a pro-enterprise future, as investors worry about sticking with Britain. Transparency and fair taxes from the big corporations are vital, but that shouldn’t stop us going for low taxes and great infrastructure for the businesses we need.

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