In the build-up to Phillip Hammond's Autumn Budget, the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee, chaired by Norman Lamb MP, launched an inquiry into the science budget and Industrial Strategy.
The committee invited submissions on a range of topics relevant to government support for science and innovation. The full list of topics is outlined in the inquiry Terms of Reference.
The IES has engaged extensively on these issues through Government consultations on their Industrial Strategy Green Paper, and previous parliamentary inquiries. Building on these previous statements, the Institution submitted written evidence to this inquiry.
Key points of our submission include:
- A modern industrial strategy should promote sustainable growth, to deliver benefits for businesses, people and the environment.
- There should be a greater focus, in the Government’s Industrial Strategy and related policy, on enhancing resource productivity through promoting the circular economy and resource efficiency. This is a sector with a great potential to deliver economic benefit and where the pace of development is fast.
- The UK has a world-leading science and research base, and a strong track record in delivering low carbon innovations. The Government must draw on these strengths through its science and industrial policies.
- There is a range of options open to Government to better support innovation, and there is great potential in the environmental and low carbon sectors. Central to building an environment which fosters innovation is a stable regulatory and policy regime: investors need certainty. Furthermore, our submission emphasises that regulation can play a key role in driving innovation across the economy and in strategic sectors.
Recent announcements in the Government's Clean Growth Strategy, and on increasing support for science and research, are welcome steps in the right direction, but there is still work to be done to embed ambition across government to make the UK one of the 'greenest' economies in the world. We hope the Chancellor's Budget later this week will build on this recent progress and will be following the announcements with interest.