Government to focus on green tech and AI in new industrial strategy

New industrial strategy reflects priorities of prime minister’s chief adviser Dominic Cummings to create UK equivalent of US technology agency

The government is preparing a new industrial strategy that focuses on science and technology, green energy and helping Britain’s poor regions.

The new industrial strategy document will include a road map on which sectors and regions should be the focus of future government investment, according to the Financial Times.

Provincial hubs such as Manchester and Birmingham will be emphasised, as well as the technology and science corridor between Cambridge and Oxford, the newspaper reported.

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Boris Johnson is keen to push green energy technology, include carbon dioxide capture and storage, hydrogen fuel cells and more offshore wind farms, according to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The new white paper is expected to be published this autumn

The news should be welcomed by tech start-ups in underperforming regions looking for investment, as well as those working on green energy initiatives.

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The new strategy reflects the priorities of Dominic Cummings, the prime minister’s chief adviser, who wants the government to create a body to drive the development of cutting-edge technology, modelled on the US Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (Darpa), which was created in the 1950s and helped invent the internet.

Like former prime minister Theresa May’s white paper on industrial strategy, the document will also prioritise artificial intelligence work

“It is our ambition to have an industrial strategy which puts the UK at the forefront of global technological opportunities, boosts productivity across every part of the country and supports our green recovery from coronavirus,” a government spokesperson told the Financial Times.

Darren Jones, chair of the House of Commons’ Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee told environmental website ENDS Report that re-writing the strategy made the committee’s inquiry into it “rather timely”.

Announced in July, the committee seeks to investigate whether the strategy “is properly designed and implemented to encourage the growth of a more productive, inclusive and sustainable economy which generates wealth, innovation and high-quality jobs”.

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