Fourth in­dus­trial rev­o­lu­tion could un­lock £445b for UK

Iran Daily - - Tse & Global Economy -

Bri­tain’s man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor could un­lock £455 bil­lion over the next decade and cre­ate thou­sands of jobs if it cracks the fourth in­dus­trial rev­o­lu­tion and carves out a suc­cess­ful post Brexit fu­ture. That is the con­clu­sion of a gov­ern­ment com­mis­sioned re­view on in­dus­trial dig­i­tal­iza­tion, led by in­dus­try chief Jür­gen Maier, the UK and Ire­land boss of Ger­man en­gi­neer­ing gi­ant Siemens, ac­cord­ing to The Guardian.

A deal be­tween gov­ern­ment and in­dus­try could put Bri­tain at the fore­front of new tech­nolo­gies such as ro­bot­ics, ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, 3D print­ing, aug­mented and vir­tual re­al­ity, giv­ing a much needed pro­duc­tiv­ity boost and a net gain of 175,000 highly skilled, bet­ter paid jobs.

Maier — who was tasked by Theresa May with pro­vid­ing a long-term vi­sion for the in­dus­try — said the am­bi­tious pro­pos­als out­lined in the re­view could serve as an ‘an­ti­dote’ to some of the tough chal­lenges and higher costs fac­ing the man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor as a re­sult of the Brexit vote.

“The busi­ness and aca­demic com­mu­nity has set out a vi­sion for much greater am­bi­tion needed for Bri­tain to be a world leader in the fourth in­dus­trial rev­o­lu­tion,” Maier said.

“The good news is Bri­tain is not start­ing from noth­ing. The UK has bril­liant knowl­edge, as­sets and skills in this space but it is some­times not as or­ga­nized as it could be.

“This com­bined pack­age of mea­sures will boost UK growth and pro­duc­tiv­ity in man­u­fac­tur­ing and pro­vide more ex­ports and in­creased earn­ing po­ten­tial, which our econ­omy des­per­ately needs.”

The 246-page re­view brings to­gether in a se­ries of rec­om­men­da­tions the views and in­put from over 200 firms and or­ga­ni­za­tions, in­clud­ing Rolls-royce, Ac­cen­ture and Cam­bridge and New­cas­tle uni­ver­si­ties.

The so-called ‘made smarter’ pro­pos­als in­clude build­ing a na­tional dig­i­tal ecosys­tem — to be pi­loted in the north­west — which would give smaller and medi­um­sized en­gi­neer­ing com­pa­nies the chance to go to a phys­i­cal space to ex­per­i­ment with new tech­nolo­gies and see how they might be ap­plied to a process in their own fac­to­ries. Gov­ern­ment sup­port through tax in­cen­tives and fund­ing would also fa­cil­i­tate the process of adopt­ing new tech­nolo­gies, the re­view con­cluded.

The re­view also rec­om­mends the cre­ation of 12 dig­i­tal in­no­va­tion hubs as part of a new na­tional in­no­va­tion pro­gram to cre­ate new tech­nolo­gies and com­pa­nies, where star­tups would work with uni­ver­si­ties and es­tab­lished firms such as Siemens.

Thirdly, it calls for a new na­tional body, ti­tled Made Smarter UK Com­mis­sion, in­clud­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tives from in­dus­try, gov­ern­ment and academia to safe­guard a longterm com­mit­ment to the work, which Maier hopes will lead to the ‘up­skilling’ of one mil­lion in­dus­trial work­ers in Bri­tain.

The gov­ern­ment will now con­sider the pro­pos­als with the ul­ti­mate aim of agree­ing a sec­tor deal with in­dus­try that is likely to in­volve co-in­vest­ment. Publi­ca­tion of a gov­ern­ment white pa­per is ex­pected be­fore Christ­mas.

BEN BIRCHALL/PA

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