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Home Opinion Ideas & Debate The need for a new industrial policy

Time for a new industrial policy?

In contrast to many of its European neighbours, the notion that governments should have an industrial policy acquired a very poor name in the UK during the 1970s. Government subsidies to ‘prop-up’ allegedly failing industries were seen as anti-competitive and a waste of public money. Instead of government ‘picking winners’, ‘losers’ were supposedly picking government.

In the aftermath of the financial crisis, however, thinking in the UK – even on the political right – has begun to shift somewhat and attention has focused on what Britain can learn from Germany, northern Europe and, indeed, the United States. This ideas and debate series looks to take stock of this debate, and provide a variety of perspectives on the matter.


Perspective on industrial policy for a global age
In the technological and globally competitive context it must now operate in, it is a mistake to view selective industrial policy as ‘picking winners'
By Alan Hughes


Industrial strategy and the 'fourth industrial revolution'
The old 20th century model whereby technological innovation is driven by a small number of countries is rapidly disappearing. In this context the UK needs a ‘national advanced manufacturing strategy’
By Eoin O'Sullivan


The need for 'customer pull' in innovation policy
There is a need to boost the ‘demand pull’ for innovation to complement the existing ‘technology push’ from research
By David Connell

Industrial policy and skills strategy: a new partnership for growth?
Industrial policy stands to benefit from an employee voice in the strategic direction of skills
By Ian Murray


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