Speech: Launch of the Clean Growth Strategy

Good morning all.

It is such a pleasure to be here today to launch our new Clean Growth Strategy. Not only because I am required to, under the Climate Change Act.

But also because I am genuinely proud of what we have achieved so far in the United Kingdom and incredibly excited about the huge opportunities for us ahead.

You may wonder why we have asked you to come to this iconic venue, scene of so much national success, this morning.

Well there are two reasons.

The first is because we are benefiting in this building from one of the UK’s biggest low-carbon combined heating, cooling and power facilities – brilliant technology that we want to see deployed much more widely.

And the second reason is… well you will have to wait for that.

Before I begin to detail all the steps we are taking, I want to thank a few people.

First, I want to thank my Secretary of State Greg Clark for his longstanding commitment to action on climate change.

From his time as Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change before the 2010 election, to his work across government, he has continued to champion the urgent need to cut emissions and seize the opportunity of clean growth and he deserves a huge amount of credit for this Strategy.

Second, I want to thank Nick Hurd, my predecessor in the department.

Nick put a massive effort into developing the policies in this plan, and I was really delighted I could take the baton from him [not just to steal all the glory] but because when I took on the Strategy, he had got it to a great place.

Thanks also to my amazing team at BEIS who have been working so hard for so long to put this Strategy together.

I also want to thank the Committee on Climate Change and their tireless chairman, Lord Deben.

You don’t realise until you sit in this ministerial chair, what a brilliant piece of legislation the Climate Change Act has proved to be, holding our feet to the fire as we consider every policy choice and empowering the Committee to keep us moving forward despite the short term political cycle.

Finally, I also want to thank all of you here today for your work cajoling, prodding, challenging, sometimes praising and, yes, criticising what we do.

We are not going to tackle the risks of climate change, nor grasp the opportunities of doing so unless we work together and I thank you for your commitment to this most important of issues.

You will know the gestation of our Clean Growth Strategy has been long, at times difficult and sometimes frustrating.

But we finally have a Strategy that is ambitious, broad and binding…

Sets out clear targets….

Harnesses the power of national innovation….

And re-affirms this government’s commitment to lead the way to a low carbon future.

So, today, in launching the Clean Growth Strategy I want to focus on three things:

First, to celebrate the extraordinary success the United Kingdom has achieved in delivering clean growth over the past two decades…

Second, as Greg said, to underline the enormous industrial opportunity for us that is emerging from the global transition to a low carbon economy - and how it will benefit us right across the UK.

And third to set out why this Clean Growth Strategy is distinctive and how it helps us meet the challenges we face.

As I said to start, the reason we are all here is the 2008 Climate Change Act, which had cross-party support and was a totemic piece of legislation. Because of that legislation we have to set out our strategy to meet the upcoming carbon budgets.

But we are also here because we want to be.

As the Prime Minister said in her foreword to our new strategy: “Clean growth is not an option, but a duty we owe to the next generation.”

And I think the UK should be very proud of our record in fulfilling that duty.

We were one of the first countries to recognise both the economic and security threats posed by rising sea levels and rising high temperatures.

And we have followed the guidance provided by that scientific understanding with action.

As Greg said, since 1990, we have cut emissions by more than 40 per cent while our economy has grown by two thirds over that time.

On a per person basis, this means that we have reduced emissions faster than any other G7 nation.

And not by sacrificing growth and competitiveness - we have led the G7 group in growth in national income over that period.

Let me just repeat that – we lead the G7 group of countries in cutting our emissions and growing our economy

Proving as false the view that we couldn’t protect the planet and raise prosperity at the same time.

Our world-first 2008 Climate Change Act set the pace for change, committing us to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least eighty per cent by 2050.

And I’m pleased to tell you we are on track.

We over-performed against our first carbon budget, and are on track to do the same for the second and third. This is a fantastic achievement.

Our action at home is matched by our ambition to see action across the world.

This saw us playing a leading role in securing the agreement of 195 countries to sign up to the now historic Paris Climate Agreement…

It commits us to being among the largest contributors of international climate finance.

And it means that from the Prime Minister, Theresa May, downwards we continue to work across the world to ensure the Paris agreement and climate action are delivered and at the forefront of international action – UK leadership that has never been more needed than now.

I know many of you in this room are responsible for this incredible success.

A success which I don’t think we celebrate enough.

Well I promise to keep talking about it and to champion it on your behalf at every opportunity, home and abroad.

The commitments made by 195 countries in Paris also present an unparalleled economic opportunity.

We are seeing the start of a global shift toward clean solutions…

Low carbon ways to get from A to B…

…power and heat produced in way that helps the planet and helps people struggling with their bills…

…and heavy industry going carbon-light.

This shift offers UK businesses and innovators huge potential to shape the future of clean growth.

Because part of the reason why the UK is considered a leader in tackling climate change, is that we don’t just see it as a problem to be solved…

We see it is an opportunity, too.

So, by focusing on clean growth, we are presented with a win-win situation…

We can cut the cost of energy…

Drive economic growth…

Create high value jobs right across the UK…

And improve our quality of life.

This is precisely what our Clean Growth Strategy is about.

You will see a list of 50 major policies and plans in the Strategy Document today, with many supporting ones in the text behind them, and when implemented there will be real change

To give you just a few examples:

For businesses, the largest pool of contributors to emissions, we will help them improve how they use their energy, aiming to increase their energy productivity by at least twenty per cent by 2030, saving businesses £6 billion…

…we will establish an industrial energy efficiency scheme to help large companies cut their bills…

…and we will demonstrate international leadership in carbon capture, usage and storage, that we need to decarbonise and improve how we do business, including substantial new investment in leading edge innovation.

Our strategy will make a positive change to how we live.

We will make it easier for homeowners to make home improvements that can reduce their energy use…

…we will invest around £3.6 billion to upgrade around a million homes through the Energy Company Obligation by 2020, and extend that support to 2028…

…we will continue to support RHI (Renewable Heat Incentive)…

… we will work towards our aspiration that every home in the country will be rated Energy Performance Certificate as Band C by 2035…

And we will aim to upgrade as many private rented homes as possible where practical and affordable – helping many of those living in severe fuel poverty.

And, our Clean Growth Strategy will change the way we travel and make our air cleaner.

We have already said and reconfirm today we will end the sale of new conventional petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040…

…it will invest £1 billion supporting the take-up of ultra-low emission vehicles, including helping consumers to overcome the upfront cost of an electric car…

…and we will make sure that those cars are powered by developing one of the best electric vehicle charging networks in the world.

Indeed you may have seen the hydrogen bus outside and we will continue to support different types of low carbon transport.

I get asked all the time – so what’s the magic bullet today?

And my answer is – we don’t have one. There is no one lever we can pull.

Instead we go through every major part of our economy and every part of government to set out ways to cut the emissions and drive innovation

Whether that’s investing in research and innovation for energy efficiency…

Or building new heat networks across the country to drive down the cost of keeping homes warm…

Whatever it takes, we are determined to make a difference.

And any set of actions that hopes to combat climate change has to cover all parts of the economy

And be focused on the next few decades, not the next few years, that is why the Clean Growth Strategy is a Strategy.

It has far-reaching goals and priorities, and sets the scene for other long-term plans government will be bringing forward like the upcoming 25 year plan from my colleagues at DEFRA, the DfT’s Road to Zero and our Industrial Strategy and its Sector Deals.

Our message is clear: this needs to be a priority for our government and the country for the years ahead, for future generations and not just us today.

And now is the right time to make these decisions because the benefits are huge.

The most recent research shows that the UK’s low carbon economy could grow over 10 to 12 per cent per year up to 2030 – four times faster than the growth of the UK economy as a whole.

By that estimate that would mean – in just 13 years – the UK’s low carbon economy would support up to 2 million more jobs and export up to £170bn low carbon goods and services each year.

And I’m not just talking about jobs in London and the South East…

This impact will be felt all over the country. We’ve already seen this happen, whether it’s the Siemens wind turbine blade factory in Hull or Nissan confirming that their Leaf electric car will be produced in Sunderland.

Like I said: a win-win situation right across the country, one that we are exploiting.

You may ask: what is different about this plan?

Well, it focuses areas of action where we get clear joint benefits:

cleaner air from low emissions vehicles…

…lower energy bills from improved energy efficiency…

… reducing waste and using resources efficiently…

…and creating a more biodiverse, resilient natural environment.

It is also a true cross-government approach – with real actions from buildings to transport, and from the natural environment to power generation.

And at the heart of our Strategy is a targeted focus on innovation.

Because I fundamentally believe that it is only through innovation that we can bring down the costs of low carbon technologies.

We want low carbon to mean low cost.

Because we need low cost to protect our businesses and households from high costs, including energy costs.

But – just as important – if we can develop the low cost, low carbon technologies here, we can capture the industrial and economic advantage from the global transition we are starting to see.

Finally, if we want to see other countries, particularly developing countries, follow our lead, we need low carbon technologies to be cheap.

So we have a new triple test to help us decide how to support new technologies:

First, does this deliver maximum carbon emission reduction?

Second, can we see a clear cost reduction pathway for this technology, so we can deliver low cost solutions?

And third, can the UK develop world-leading technology in a sizeable global market?

Of course, we can’t predict every technological breakthrough – if we’d have done that a few years ago, we would have been wrong – and not all of the choices we make will be the right ones.

That is the nature of working with such fast moving technologies.

But we are determined to create the best possible ecosystem for the private sector to invest and innovate.

If we get it right, we can see the benefits, just as we have on offshore wind, and the remarkable cost reduction we have seen where the costs have plummeted 50 percent in just two years.

And we have installed the biggest offshore wind base in the world.

To achieve these sorts of wins going forward and deliver the clean growth we need, it will require everyone to play their part.

This is not a job for central government alone.

It is a job for our devolved nations, local authorities, businesses and civil society working together; ambition and drive from every part of society and government is as important as diktats from Whitehall.

That is why we are delighted to celebrate in our document some of the amazing work that is taking place across the country.

And it is why we are setting up an annual ‘Green Great Britain’ Week, to celebrate the progress we have made, showcase UK technology and leadership, and inspire and motivate us to keep going, no matter the challenges, to deliver low carbon technology.

To meet our goals, we are going to need the full ingenuity, enterprise and determination of the British people working together.

So that answers the second question as to why we are here today.

Because we want to capture the spirit of cooperation and enterprise that gave us such an amazing performance at the 2012 Olympics from Team GB…

And use it to deliver a Green GB…

There won’t be medals on offer…

But the prize for all of us will be driving and capturing the benefits and opportunities for Britain and the world of our low carbon future.

I think that’s a race we all want to win.

Thank you.

Speech: How universities can drive prosperity through deeper engagement

I’m delighted to be speaking here at the 2017 Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) conference. I hardly need to tell you what an important time this is for higher education in the UK.

Over the coming year, we will be putting into action the wide-ranging reforms set out in the Higher Education and Research Act (HERA).

Next year will see the launch of the Office for Students (OfS), which will take up the regulatory baton that HEFCE has borne for the past 25 years. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Madeleine, Tim, and all the staff of HEFCE for their service.

The birth of the OfS will mean the establishment of a new regulatory regime, with a strong focus on accountability, value for money and the student interest.

Our work to implement the HERA will also bring into existence a new national strategic funding agency, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

This is an important time for research in the UK as we put science and innovation at the heart of our industrial strategy and it is on this vital area that I want to focus today.

We have made a significant commitment as a Government to increasing the amount of R&D the UK undertakes as a country.

Last year there was a £4.7bn increase by 2020/2021 we announced in the 2016 Autumn Statement, itself the largest increase to public R&D for 40 years.

Meeting the new target will not be possible without the concerted efforts of Government, businesses, charitable funders and of course our brilliant researchers, not just the homegrown talent but critically also those who have been drawn here from all over the world.

And this is what I would like to speak about today.

It goes without saying that UK universities are renowned for the quality of their research. Indeed, today the government is publishing analysis by Elsevier that shows that the UK continues to punch above its weight as a research superpower.

In particular, the research shows that although the UK represents just 0.9% of the world’s population, we account for 9.9% of downloaded academic articles, 10.7% of citations and 15.2% of the world’s most highly-cited articles.

Relative to its comparator countries, the UK continues to rank number one Field-Weighted Citation Impact. This shows the vital importance of funding curiosity-driven research. It is something to be proud of and to protect.

But high quality publications do not by themselves guarantee impact in the world at large. Nor is there a simple, linear relationship between academic excellence and economic growth.

If the research that goes on in our universities is to have the greatest possible impact, our universities need to be deeply connected to the wider world. This is an important challenge for universities in any advanced economy.

But it is particularly important in the UK, because of the outsize role our universities play in our research and innovation system.

Over half of the money the UK taxpayer provides for R&D goes to the Higher Education sector - £4.8bn out of £8.8bn in 2015.

The result is that a far greater proportion of R&D – 26% – takes place in our universities – than in comparable countries, with 20% in France, 17% in Germany, 13% in the US and 12% in Japan.

This funding arrangement has helped ensure the excellence of British universities and their strong performance in international league tables, which give a heavy weighting to research.

But the fact that by international standards an unusually large proportion of our R&D activity takes place within our universities brings with it increased responsibilities.

Because they loom so large in our research ecosystem, it is particularly important that our universities engage with the wider world, and help to ensure that their work leads to wider economic and social benefits.

Today I would like to focus on two ways in which universities can help us achieve our ambitious goal: knowledge exchange, and international engagement.

Improving knowledge exchange

Universities’ engagement with the wider world takes many forms.

Public attention often focuses on technology transfer, intellectual property (IP) licensing and high-tech spin-outs, but these are far from the only way universities contribute to innovation and growth.

Collaborative and contract research conducted with businesses, consultancy, training, and broader partnerships with businesses and with civil society are every bit as important.

And of course, most universities play an important local economic role, whether by participating in economic development efforts, in skills development or by acting as hubs for businesses.

The analysis of the 2016 Higher Education Business and Community Interaction (HEBCI) survey, which HEFCE is publishing today, shows that this wider economic engagement is growing more slowly than the economy as a whole, at 1 per cent, and from a low base. It is also highly uneven, with parts of the country benefitting from it more than others.

Comparisons of our commercialisation activity with that of the US are revealing.

We require about £5m more research spending to generate each new spin-off than the US does. And US higher education institutions earn almost 40% more IP licence income as a percentage of research resources than those in the UK

This is income that can be ploughed back into research in a virtuous cycle of scientific discovery and innovation. I see the evidence of this collaboration on the ground. Examples such as the collaboration between the University of Lincoln, Lincoln College and Siemens which is inspiring a new generation of engineering and scientific talent in the region. Or the decision by McLaren to site their new factory in Sheffield in order to collaborate with Sheffield University Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.

But the system as a whole needs to find a new gear.

The University of Queensland on Australia’s Gold Coast is one institution we could learn from. Its long-established tech transfer subsidiary, Uniquest, helps it generate over AUS$30m a year from IP – more than any Russell Group university.

The rewards to good knowledge exchange can be very great: New York University earned more from Remicade, its blockbuster arthritis drug, in a year, than all UK universities put together.

Britain has had its home run successes too: consider the £64m that the Institute for Cancer Research made form licensing last year, or the University of Surrey’s development of Surrey Satellite Technologies. But I would like to see these successes, and the wide range of business links that underpin them, become more common.

If we are to meet our national goals to increase R&D, we will need to continue to deepen these forms of engagement. Demonstrating this engagement and the associated economic impact will be important in making the case to the public and within government that increased public investment in research is justified.

We are taking a number of steps to drive engagement.

Increased weighting for impact in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) Impact

I welcome the decisions that HEFCE and HE funding bodies have taken to place greater emphasis in the next REF exercise on the impact of research - increasing weighting for impact to 25%).

Science & Innovation Audits are also helping to deepen the relationships between universities and their wider communities. Across the country, I have seen that the SIA process has not just identified the relationships between universities and their local partners, but helped define and strengthen them.

For example, the SIA for the Edinburgh City Region has helped them to develop a successful bid realising £300m in funding for data driven innovation. This maximises the opportunities afforded by the world class research base and will exploit the wide range of technologies being pioneered across the city region.

So, today I’m also announcing Wave 3 of SIAs - twelve more areas selected to map their local research, innovation and infrastructure strengths. As before, this round of SIAs will examine strengths in a number of sectors and disciplines, across the UK – from the Marine Economy in Scotland to Nuclear in the North West.

As before, this round of SIAs will be taken forward as collaborations between, universities, businesses and other institutions such as Local Enterprise Partnerships.

Measuring and funding knowledge exchange

One of the most powerful tools for increasing engagement has been our investment in Higher Education Innovation Funding (HEIF). HEIF underpins knowledge exchange and tech transfer capabilities and supports skills development and entrepreneurship.

It provides universities with the resources needed to invest in partnerships: from developing tech transfer offices, to helping ease the movement of staff between academia and businesses. Many of the most important collaborative projects in England were enabled by HEIF. That is why we are providing an additional £40m a year for Higher Education Innovation Funding to help support commercialisation, taking the total to £200 million for 2017-18.

In addition, we are also encouraging universities to collaborate on the commercialisation of research and working with business. HEFCE launched a £100m Connecting Capability Fund in April, and today I am also pleased to announce the first four funding projects, which will collectively receive just under £20m.

  • The first project is a collaboration between a group of universities in the East of England – Essex, UEA, and Kent – which aims to address the region’s productivity challenges by supporting company development and entrepreneurial skills growth.

  • The second project is a collaboration between a group of HEIs in the North of England – Manchester, Leeds, and Sheffield – which aims to establish an investment fund to improve access to finance for university spinouts.

  • The third is an extension of an existing collaboration between a group of universities in the South of England – the SET squared partnership – which aims to better support SMEs as they scale-up.

  • The fourth is a collaboration between a group of universities and research institutes across the UK – Oxford, Birmingham, Dundee, and the Francis Crick Institute – which aims to support the development of new therapeutics to tackle age-related diseases.

Given the importance of knowledge exchange to the national mission of universities, I believe there is a strong case for doing more to measure how good a job universities are doing and to link funding more directly to such an assessment.

It is noteworthy that the UK university system has public frameworks to track two of the missions of universities – the REF for research and the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) for teaching outcomes – but nothing for the third mission of knowledge exchange and engagement.

Since its introduction under a different name in the 1980s, the Research Excellence Framework has become a familiar part of the higher education landscape, playing a vital role in ensuring we fund only excellent science.

And the more recently introduced Teaching Excellence Framework, entering its third year, is already, as Universities UK’s (UUK) recent poll shows, acting as a powerful incentive on universities to focus on teaching quality and student outcomes

I am keen to explore what more we can do to evaluate the extent of knowledge exchange, engagement, collaboration and commercialisation - the impact that universities are having on the economy – and to recognise which of our universities are leading the way.

I see a key role for an enhanced performance assessment in creating a constructive competitive dynamic between institutions that incentivises them to make the most of opportunities they have for knowledge exchange.

We have the building blocks for such an assessment with the work undertaken by the knowledge exchange steering group led by Professor Trevor McMillan and considerable amounts of relevant data are already gathered, not least through the HEBCI survey and the HEIF process.

And there is evidence that there is excellent practice on knowledge exchange throughout the system: from Russell Group universities like Oxford and Leeds to newer institutions like Anglia Ruskin and Hertfordshire.

But at present this information is hard to access. And it is not weighted to reflect the differences in size and research income between different institutions. Therefore it does not have the impact it might in terms of identifying outperformance and underperformance.

With this in mind, I will be asking Research England within UKRI, working with the OfS, to consult with the sector and advise on the development of a new, public Knowledge Exchange Framework (KEF), that brings together a comprehensive range of measures of impact from collaboration and knowledge exchange.

Our ambition is that the new KEF will become an important public indicator of how good a job universities are doing at discharging their third mission, just as the REF rewards excellence in research and the TEF rewards excellence in teaching and student outcomes.

This will enable universities to benchmark and develop their own performance, and will increase universities’ accountability to taxpayers, local government and businesses.

Increasing HEIF

Alongside better data on knowledge exchange, there is also a case for greater investment that is directly linked to institutional performance in terms of knowledge exchange and tech transfer.

I am struck whenever I visit universities by the impressive initiatives and ventures that have been enabled by HEIF funding.

The University of Central Lancashire, which established its Centre for SME Development in 2016, is a case in point. Its first annual report showed that it had interacted with more than 500 Lancashire SMEs. Its current funded business support projects for SMEs are worth almost £10m and are set to reach almost 1,000 SMEs in the region.

Or take Reading University, which is investing in a new inter-disciplinary Centre for Food, Nutrition and Health. This will extend its relationships with the agri-food industry, enabling it to deliver research, innovation and education that addresses their needs and contributes to economic growth in the sector.

I believe it is possible to do more. We have already reiterated the important contribution that HEIF is playing to the delivery of our Industrial Strategy through the £40m pa uplift taking HEIF to £200m in 2017-18. The Witty Review recognised the critical role of HEIF and recommended increasing funding to £250m pa and I am keen that we take steps to do so.

In addition, I am asking UKRI and Research England to consider the right balance between HEIF and quality-related (QR) funding – so that as we give recognition to the vital role that universities must play in their engagement with others in the UK economy, we do not lose sight of the need to support curiosity-driven science that has no immediate commercial goals.

This is not just because the pursuit of knowledge is the hallmark of a civilised society, and a good thing in and of itself, but because unanticipated scientific breakthroughs can turn out to be even more valuable than the outcomes of agenda-driven research.

I believe this stronger commitment to knowledge exchange and engagement will give universities the confidence they need to set ambitious plans and bold partnerships – benefitting national and local economies, and society at large.

International engagement

The second aspect of deeper engagement I would like to discuss is engagement with the wider world. Today’s Elsevier report shows the remarkable global reach of UK research. It shows that over 51% of all UK publications in 2017 were co-authored, highlighting that UK researchers are highly collaborative internationally. The only other comparator country to surpass the UK was France, ahead of the UK by just 0.3 percentage points. And the UK’s share of international co-authorship has increased annually from 2010.

Importantly, internationally co-authored articles are generally associated with a higher field-weighted citation impact. Continuing to work with international partners is critical - our research strength and our innovation have been built upon a history of collaboration.

As the Government set out in its recent paper, we will be seeking an ambitious science and innovation agreement with the EU - one that continues high levels of collaboration with European partners on major science, research, and technology initiatives.

In her Florence speech, the PM set out the UK’s commitment to developing the deep and special relationship we have with Europe. She said “We may be leaving the European Union, but we are not leaving Europe”. Continuing with - and building on - our collaboration with our European partners will remain critical to our long-term economic development. So, we have made our intentions clear in this area.

We want to remain a player in European science, research and innovation programmes. And we will continue to attract the best talent from across the world, including the EU.

The UK will continue to welcome the brightest and best from across the world, including the EU. The UK will remain a hub for international research and innovation talent.

So, we will continue to increase our levels of international engagement on science research and innovation. Not just with Europe, but across the world.

For example, UK-US collaborations have resulted in 26 Nobel prizes for science and economics. Nearly 14% of the UK’s internationally co-authored papers are with the US, almost double the next nearest country - Germany. And the UK is the number one destination for US R&D company investment outside of the US, accounting for over 10% of US foreign R&D investment.

That’s why, last month I signed the first formal Science and Technology Agreement with the US, providing a framework for UK institutions to collaborate on joint scientific research and technology programmes with the US.

We recently agreed to invest £65m in our ongoing partnership with the United States on the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, which will probe fundamental questions about the nature of matter and the evolution of the universe.

Alongside this, we have signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Canada which will strengthen bilateral cooperation in science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship. The MOU kicks off work to build lasting partnerships between our science and innovation agencies, and will initially focus opportunities in the fields of quantum technology, clean technology, agri-tech, and advanced manufacturing. But we don’t want to stop there - this is a model that we are keen to repeat with other countries to further expand and enhance our global partnerships.

And that’s why I’m pleased to announce that Government is investing an additional £18m in the Rutherford Fund this year in 2017/18 to attract the brightest research talent to the UK. This builds on the £100m that we have already committed to Rutherford over the next 4 years.

This new funding will enable more than 200 additional significant fellowships to start in the current financial year, at our world class institutions, including at the Crick and the Turing Institutions, at UK museums, at the British Academy and at UK universities. It also includes 50 Commonwealth Fellowships.

Our ongoing investment in talent will help to reinforce the UK as the go-to country for innovation and discovery.

Reinforcing the importance of the humanities and social sciences, £5m of this global talent funding is through the British Academy’s flagship Post-Doctoral fellowship scheme with leading universities - delivered alongside a further £5m to support and develop domestic research talent.


So, Science, Research and Innovation are central to our industrial strategy and will be critical to the UK economy in the future – it improves our productivity, the economy and helps people prosper across the country. Universities’ engagement and collaboration with others – domestically and internationally - is now more important now than ever and I and other Ministers in this Government, through our industrial strategy, will be doing everything we can to support them.

Thank you

Speech: Winner of the 2017 Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award

Good evening ladies and gentlemen. I am very pleased to be here with you this evening to present the Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award at the 2017 British Construction Industry Awards.

An awards ceremony which recognises and rewards excellence in construction and how projects can transform society. I am also informed that this awards ceremony is in its thirtieth year, so congratulations to you all!

Thanks to your hard work, the construction industry in the UK has a world-class reputation and underpins our country’s continuing economic growth – creating much needed infrastructure and jobs, and helping export UK construction expertise around the world.

The government has a strong role to play in shaping this industry, with over a quarter of construction output from the public sector and central government being the biggest single construction client.

That is why these awards are supported through the Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award, sponsored by the Infrastructure and Projects Authority in the Cabinet Office and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

What makes a ‘better’ public building

Tonight we are all here to celebrate some of the very best examples of construction - from grand projects that are reshaping our cities, to smaller, more local, efforts that are serving our communities.

But these awards are not just about the technical merit of a building or the precise functional feat of engineering, important as they are. They are also about recognising how better building and construction can transform lives, communities and the UK as a whole.

A better public building achieves excellence in design quality, innovation and procurement practices.

A better public building is first class financial management - delivered on budget and providing value for money for taxpayers.

A better public building is constructed on time and has real social and environmental value for its local community.

These are the principles this government is committed to and that we are recognising tonight.

Government Construction Strategy

And these are the principles that are embodied in our Government Construction Strategy.

Our strategy sets out how we want to make the government a better client, improve construction productivity and deliver £1.7 billion efficiencies and 20,000 apprenticeships in construction by 2020.

We know that innovation inside the public sector can be used to support growth in the private sector. So we want to work with industry to ensure effective procurement, efficient delivery, competitive pricing, and design excellence all become the norm.

Tonight’s winner embodies all of these principles - it is a building that is well designed, innovative and enables a smarter public service.

It acts as a central hub, supported by nine local offices, putting this service more in touch with local communities.

It was delivered on time and on budget - in fact funded from the sale of its former building - so at no extra cost to the taxpayer! As Minister for Government Efficiency, you can see why I am particularly excited about the winner this year!

This approach has enabled more investment to be put into the public services the building is there to support. And despite its high security, the design of the building makes it feel open, welcoming and more transparent to the public it serves.

As the judges said, it is ‘fit for function’ in the best sense of the phrase.


I want to congratulate everyone involved in the projects shortlisted for the award this evening.

We continue to see increasing numbers of excellent projects all over the country. They are an inspiration to all public sector clients, and I’d like to see every new public building project meet the same high standards.

But there can only be one winner. So I am delighted to announce that the winner of the 2017 Prime Minister’s Better Building Award is….

… the New Scotland Yard building on Thames Embankment!

Please join the stage to collect your award. Thank you.

Speech: Supporting small business to start-up, scale-up and grow

It is a pleasure to be here today at the UK Commercial Finance and Banking Conference in the City of London, one of the world’s preeminent financial centres.

Throughout the 19th century, the City was the world’s primary business centre, and it continues today to play host to many of world’s leading trading and financial services companies.

Indeed, it ranks first globally in the Global Financial Centres Index.

No other city can rival its unique environment for success with access to the best talent in the world; high quality business education; a stable tax environment; effective regulation, all in an entrepreneurial and innovative setting.

Today, we benefit from having many of the financial sector’s leaders under one roof.

As Minister for Small Business it is my privilege to work in collaboration with you all, to ensure that UK businesses have every chance to grow to their full potential.

We are already in a strong position.

At the start of 2016 there were a record 5.5 million private sector businesses.

An increase of 97,000 since 2015 and over 1 million net new businesses since 2010. More than 99% of these are SMEs.

Small businesses employ 12.5 million people – 48% of the total UK private sector.

They boast a combined annual turnover of £1.3 trillion – 33% of all private sector turnover.

There is no direct measure of the number of business start-ups in the UK, but based on new business bank accounts opened, it is estimated that there were around 416,000 UK start-ups last year.

We can be proud of this. We have an excellent record in creating businesses, coming third in the OECD’s ranking for start-ups.

We rank seventh globally in both the World Bank’s Doing-Business Index and the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index.

All of which goes to explain why private sector jobs have increased by 3.6 million since the quarter May to July 2010.

The government is determined to continue this success.

We heard an expert account earlier from Shiona Davies about the state of the market for SME finance.

The SME Finance Monitor is an invaluable source of up-to-date information and is required reading at BEIS.

I won’t comment on Shiona’s masterly analysis, so let me offer 2 more general thoughts.

As we heard in the panel session, the market for finance is more responsive, more diverse and offers more options than ever before.

That’s good news for London, the FinTech capital of the world, and also for SMEs across the country who ‘should’ benefit from these new services.

I say ‘should’ because there is evidence that some areas are still missing out.

If we look at equity finance for example, there is a huge disparity between the ‘golden triangle’ of London, Oxford and Cambridge and the rest of the country.

This morning’s panel considered some important questions:

  • Is there an information gap?
  • What support do SMEs need?
  • How can we stimulate demand?

It’s important to understand these in context. Our answers must be tailored to individual businesses in a specific location.

That is why government has put in place a network of 39 Growth Hubs across the country, supporting SMEs in their local area to thrive.

I know that many of you here already work with Growth Hubs, but I would urge all of you to increase collaboration at the local level.

It is easy for us to forget just how focused business owners are on running the business from day to day. But it’s essential that knowledge is shared.

If we are to have any hope of bridging the information gap, we need to make our communications easier to access and even more relevant.

We already have an excellent product in the Business Finance Guide which UK Finance members helped to create.

Several of you also distribute the guide to your customers and direct them to the website. Thank you for that.

Visitor numbers to the website have trebled since last year, so we are on the right track.

I hope you will keep working with the British Business Bank to make the Business Finance Guide even more compelling, relevant and easy for businesses to access.

Trust in banking

Still, there is not much point in giving advice to people who don’t trust you.

And it is sometimes suggested that there has been a breakdown of trust in banking, leading to low demand.

While overall trust in banks is actually quite high in this country – higher than in Germany, France or Italy for example – we do need to look at the experience of individual businesses.

Especially when their finances are under stress and they are looking to their bank for support.

Given the importance of trust, and the importance of standards in building trust, it is perhaps surprising that agreed industry standards for SME banking were only put in place earlier this year.

The Standards of Lending Practice for Business Customers are extremely welcome, and I would like to thank everyone involved in developing them, some of whom are in this room.

These are clear, well-written, important principles that will make a real difference – so long as they are applied in the spirit in which they were written.

Let me just remind you of a few principles from the Standards, for SMEs in financial difficulty. Firms should:

  • demonstrate an empathetic approach;
  • apply an appropriate level of forbearance; and
  • work with and support a customer’s turnaround plan.

These behaviours will take time to embed in everyday practice.

My request to you is this: please don’t wait for an audit from David Pickering and his team at the Lending Standards Board.

Start now. Make sure that the Standards are understood and acted on in all parts of your business but especially in your teams dealing with recoveries, where business owners are at their most vulnerable.

This afternoon’s panel will discuss the issue of redress, how to provide effective dispute resolution and put right past errors.

At the same time, let’s resolve not to repeat those mistakes.

Applying the Standards of Lending Practice will go a long way to make sure that such events can never happen again.

The strength of UK finance will be an invaluable asset for the economy and the country, whatever the future may bring.

That future will be built on strong foundations.

I look forward to working with you all to ensure that businesses in all parts of the country get the finance they need to support more businesses to scale-up and reach their full potential and to build trust by ensuring that business customers are treated fairly and consistently.

Thank you.

Speech: Culture Secretary’s speech at Bazalgette Review launch

Thank you to Sir Peter for his hard work in completing such a broad, thorough and thought-provoking review - some really interesting and bold recommendations for both industry and government to pursue, and across a very wide range of areas. And made much more interesting than a normal review by the quotes across the document which are drawn from British creative life. I can certainly relate to Kate Tempest’s call to action - “move fast, don’t stop, you got things to do” - as I’m sure you all can too.

And thank you to you all for making time to be here at such short notice. Turnout at a few days notice shows how much passion and commitment there is in relation to this subject, and how much interest in hearing what Sir Peter has to say.

That we are here today is testament to the importance of the creative industries to the UK - increasingly recognised across government as a key sector of the economy. This is partly about a sector holding its own with more traditional industries such as manufacturing - industrial policy is no longer just about widgets and hardware. It is also too about a sector holding its own with tech and other celebrated growth sectors.

Now - as Business Secretary, Greg has to be even-handed across the economy. As Culture Secretary, I can be a little more partisan. To underline just how important creative industries are to the UK economy, Creative Industries Federation analysis of PwC data suggests that they deliver four times the GVA of the automotive industry, six times as much as life sciences and nearly 10 times that of aerospace. Between 2011 and 2015, the sector created three times more jobs than the economy as a whole. The UK is the third-largest exporter of cultural goods and services in the world – just behind China and the USA. I spend a lot of my time reminding my Cabinet colleagues of these kinds of fact.

But they matter too for Britain’s place in the world – our values, soft power and influence. Creative Industries are in many cases at the very forefront of how the world perceives us. Whether it be music, film or design, they strengthen the UK brand, adding impetus to our growing creative content and services presence around the world, strengthening trading links in key emerging economies and influencing wider perceptions of the UK.

And they also matter intrinsically. They produce the things that enrich lives and give them meaning. That’s true of the ‘content’ sub-sectors of the Creative Industries - TV, film, games, music, publishing, fashion. It’s also true of the services side – the architecture that RIBA, our hosts today, do such fantastic work to promote, the design that creates our products, the advertising that influences our desires.

I hope it is clear to you that Government is committed to supporting the Creative Industries – for example, through the creative sector tax reliefs, which paid out over £600 million last year alone, securing in return nearly £2 billion. And more broadly in securing the best possible outcome for the sectors as the UK prepares to exit the European Union and looks to do trade deals around the world.

But there is still more to do - and that’s what today is all about. Creative industries in Britain and beyond face both real challenges and opportunities. Much of that is driven by technology and changing patterns of consumer demand. The “D” word - Digital - is now at the heart of the DCMS as the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. It is transforming the whole economy, but bears strongly on the Intellectual Property-rich, small and micro-dominated businesses that make up much of the creative industries. But change also arises from policy landscape - for example, the opportunities presented by the Government’s Industrial Strategy, and its clear focus on place, inclusive growth and rebalancing the economy.

And that’s where the sector deal comes in. As Greg has said, the Government has essentially asked business to make it an offer it can’t refuse. In the words of the IS Green Paper there is ‘open door challenge to industry’ to be ‘driven by business to meet the priorities of business’. It seeks ‘a clear proposal for boosting productivity’ in order to ‘drive growth right across the United Kingdom… creating more high-skilled, high paid jobs and opportunities’.

We have a once-in-a-Parliament opportunity to capitalise on this through the promise of a sector deal.

In devising a deal, the Creative Industries have made good progress so far thanks to the work of the sector and of course Sir Peter’s independent review, which we will hear about in a minute.

We have a down-payment today with the announcement of the AHRC funding for research and development partnerships across eight creative clusters.

The key challenge now is turning a lot of compelling ideas, at varying stages of development, into a tangible agreement. An agreement which is credible and has buy-in from both Ministers and the industry.

There is definite appetite in Government to land an ambitious deal and this review is a really valuable input. But there are also real constraints – not least financial. As you would expect in a time of continued austerity, the bar to new Government money is very high. The starting point is spending existing resources better.

There is also time pressure. As ever with these things it is more important to get it right than to get it fast. But we also want to get on and reach an agreement as quickly as possible, taking advantage of the platform the Industrial Strategy provides. Success will depend on the commitment behind the offer from industry, and how that fits with the strategic challenges set out in the Industrial Strategy Green Paper.

So I encourage Creative Industries leaders to continue to work together and wow Government with a compelling proposal. As the statutory sector body, the Creative Industries Council will lead negotiations on the deal - and I pay tribute to Nicola Mendlesohn who has done a fantastic job as chair - with critically important input from the Creative Industries Federation, under John Kampfner’s outstanding leadership, as well as from others across the sector. We are keen for those discussions to move forward.

Times are challenging but the prize is big so let’s be bold and ambitious; do what you do best - thinking creatively! - so we can deliver real change that takes the UK’s creative industries to the next level of success.

I am now delighted to hand over to Sir Peter to tell you about the detail of his review.

Speech: Minister Claire Perry reflects on her time at Climate Week

Opportunity. It’s a word you hear a lot in America. And it’s something I heard time and time again last week during New York Climate Week.

Climate Week represented the first major gathering of international climate leaders since the US announced its deeply regrettable decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. But it’s clear the momentum that produced that historic accord is unchanged – the global, unstoppable shift to a low carbon economy is transcending the actions of any one country and that brings with it a huge amount of opportunity for Britain.

Recent analysis from PwC shows that the UK is decarbonising faster than any other G20 nation. Since 1990, we have grown our economy by two-thirds, while cutting emissions by more than a third. We should be proud of this progress; however the government knows that there is much more to do.

This is why the Prime Minister’s confirmation last week of our plans to end dirty coal generation by 2025 is so important. It’s an unambiguous commitment to a low carbon future that sends a clear message to clean energy investors around the world: the UK is open for business.

Decarbonisation is going to take more than government policy. We will need to find ways to deploy the public and private capital to finance this revolution – the International Energy Agency estimates that more than $13 trillion will be needed between now and 2030 just to finance the clean energy countries will need to meet their Paris agreements. It’s here the UK has a competitive advantage and a chance to build on one of our greatest strengths – that we are the greatest finance capital in the world.

So we’ve got all the basics we need to lead the way on green finance but how do we make the most of this opportunity? On government’s part we must ensure that the UK remains the financial services centre of the world and the global hub of financial innovation. And we must do everything we can to accelerate the growth of green finance by drawing on the expertise of the City.

That’s why I’ve been working with the Economic Secretary to the Treasury Stephen Barclay to establish a Green Finance Taskforce that brings together leading figures from the finance sector, chaired by Sir Roger Gifford, who also chairs the City of London’s Green Finance Initiative. This will meet for the first time tomorrow (Tuesday 26 September).

We will also be working with the Green Finance Initiative and British Standards Institute to develop a new set of voluntary green and sustainable finance management standards, alongside the industry.

And we’re endorsing, officially, recommendations from the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures which encourage all listed companies to align climate-related risk management and financial governance.

I launched the plans last week alongside Theodore Roosevelt IV – the great grandson of the former President and Managing Director for Barclays Capital Corporation – and Michael Bloomberg who chaired the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. It is clear from the enthusiastic response that we are tapping into something the world needs to make the low carbon transition and can build on our thriving financial sector which already has $7 trillion of assets under management and employs more than 2 million people.

It is increasingly clear that if we meet our decarbonisation challenges but also look to build on our positions of strength in finance – or offshore wind or electric vehicles – we can export our expertise, generate jobs and improve productivity right across the country. And that means that while the low carbon challenge is a steep one, the opportunity is far greater.

Speech: UK Statement to the 61st General Conference of the IAEA

Madame President, Excellencies, and distinguished guests,

The United Kingdom associates itself with the statement made by the distinguished representative of Estonia on behalf of the European Union.

I would like to congratulate you, Madame President, on your election as President of the 61st General Conference, and thank the IAEA for its hard work in organising this event.

I would also like to express the gratitude of the United Kingdom for the leadership of Director General Amano, and thank him for his distinguished service during his second term in office. The UK looks forward to continuing our collaboration with him and the Agency to secure the future of civil nuclear energy and applications.

The United Kingdom welcomes the application for membership of the Agency by Grenada.

UK priorities

Madame President,

Following the government’s announcement of its intention to leave the Euratom Treaty, I would like to affirm the UK’s continuing strong support for the civil nuclear industry, for the highest standards of nuclear safety, security and safeguards, for the development of peaceful applications of nuclear technology, and for the IAEA’s central role in achieving these goals.

In that spirit, I would like to highlight some of the UK’s key objectives for the year ahead:

  • To continue our commitment to civil nuclear energy both in the UK and internationally;
  • To maintain robust nuclear safety, security, emergency preparedness and response, and safeguards regimes, and support their implementation; and,
  • To promote the peaceful uses of new and existing civil nuclear technologies around the world, while ensuring an effective international nuclear non-proliferation regime.

Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

Mdm President, before I discuss in detail the UK’s objectives, I would like to make a statement on recent developments in North Korea.

The UK calls again on North Korea to halt its nuclear and missile development programme. The recent nuclear weapon test is reckless and poses an unacceptable further threat to international peace and security. The international community has universally condemned this test and must come together to continue to increase the pressure on North Korea’s leaders to stop their destabilising actions. North Korea must resume compliance with its safeguards agreement and cooperation with the Agency, and abandon its nuclear programme in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner.

Civil Nuclear in the UK and Internationally

Madame President,

Nuclear currently provides around 25% of the UK’s electricity needs. In the coming decades many of our existing plants will reach the end of their operational lives, while the demand for low-carbon energy increases. New nuclear will have a key role to play in the years ahead, and there are many opportunities to be found in this sector in the UK.

Hinkley Point C, our first new nuclear plant for over 20 years, will provide 3.2 gigawatts of secure, low-carbon electricity for 60 years, meeting around 7% of the UK’s energy needs. EDF have made excellent progress; in March this year the first concrete was poured for the power station galleries. The first reactor is due to come online in 2025, and the second the following year.

We are committed to maintaining the UK’s status as a world leader in nuclear research and development, and to sustaining and developing our existing international collaboration in this field. We will maintain and build on our world-leading fusion expertise, and seek continued participation in international fusion projects such as the Joint European Torus (JET) project at Culham, and the ITER project in France. Furthermore, we recognise the potential of Small Modular Reactors for producing low-carbon energy, whether small versions of conventional technologies, or next generation reactors.

The UK remains open for business, and ideally placed to continue supporting opportunities across the civil nuclear fuel cycle.

Safety & Security

Madame President,


The UK remains proactive and transparent in fulfilling our obligations, and sharing expertise, to strengthen nuclear safety and radioactive waste management. We are an active Contracting Party to the Convention on Nuclear Safety (CNS) and the Joint Convention, and look forward to engaging fully with the Joint Convention process next year. We are pleased that this year’s CNS Review Meeting had the highest participation levels to date, and identified a number of cross cutting safety issues, which should be tackled as a priority by Member States, supported by the IAEA.

In April we welcomed an Operational Safety Review Team (OSART) follow-up mission to Sizewell B, to assess the facility’s adherence to international standards of best practice, and have planned another mission to Torness in 2018. The UK government looks forward to receiving the findings from these missions and is committed to transparency on the outcomes, ensuring public confidence in our ability to safely deliver nuclear energy. We encourage all Member States to host OSART missions.

Emergency Preparedness and Response

The government is committed to maintaining the highest standards of emergency preparedness and response arrangements. The UK is reflecting the latest standards from Euratom and the IAEA in our domestic regime, as part of our commitment to continuous improvement.


The UK strongly supports the central role of the IAEA in promoting robust nuclear security regimes and assisting in their implementation. We contributed a further £8.5m this year to the Nuclear Security Fund in support of these activities, and UK experts have supported International Physical Protection Advisory Service (IPPAS) missions. We encourage other Member States to provide funds and expertise to support the Agency’s nuclear security work.

We congratulate the Agency on its successful Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Security last December, and look forward to the outputs of that Conference being applied, to help address current and emerging security challenges.

We continue work with the Agency to assist States in their capabilities to respond to nuclear security events, and to develop the effectiveness of the International Nuclear Security Advisory Service (INSServ). We encourage continued coordination between the Agency and other international bodies, such as the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT) and INTERPOL, to deliver training and exercises.

This year the UK Office for Nuclear Regulation launched a new regulatory framework: the Security Assessment Principles. This outcomes-based framework enables industry to design security solutions which align with their business needs. This will increase security competence within the civil nuclear sector, and place greater emphasis on protecting against emerging threats such as cyber.

Non-Proliferation Safeguards

Madame President,

The global safeguards regime is central to the peaceful use of nuclear technologies, and the UK supports the IAEA in its efforts to strengthen, and verify compliance with, safeguards obligations. The UK welcomes the continued development of State-level safeguards approaches.

We call on all States that have not yet done so to ratify Comprehensive Safeguards Agreements and Additional Protocols, to ensure their universalisation. As part of preparations for EU Exit, the UK is establishing a domestic nuclear safeguards regime which will deliver to existing Euratom standards. This will ensure that the IAEA retains its right to inspect all civil nuclear facilities, and will continue to receive all current safeguards reporting, ensuring that international verification of our safeguards activity continues to be robust.

Technical Cooperation

The UK remains a strong supporter of the IAEA’s Technical Cooperation Programme. It is my pleasure to pledge more than €3.6m to the Technical Cooperation Fund, continuing our record of paying our voluntary contributions on time and in full, and we encourage other Member States to do so.

We congratulate the Secretariat on the success of the recent International Conference on the IAEA Technical Cooperation Programme, and welcome its continued implementation of the Results-Based Management approach. We encourage the Secretariat and Member States to assess project outcomes, and implement lessons learned.

Non-Proliferation Treaty

The UK is committed to the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty as the cornerstone of the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture and the essential foundation for the pursuit of nuclear disarmament and the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and we recognise the IAEA’s vital role in support of the Treaty. The first Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in May this year put us on a sound footing for the remainder of the cycle, and we look forward to a constructive PrepCom in 2018. Iran

We welcome the Director General’s reporting that confirms that Iran is adhering to its nuclear-related commitments as outlined in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. It is important for all parties to the Plan of Action to implement the agreement fully. Iran’s continued co-operation with the Agency is required, and Member States should assist with continued financial support for the Agency’s monitoring and verification activities.


In light of the Board’s previous conclusion that Syria is in non-compliance with its Safeguards Agreement, we urge the Syrian regime to cooperate with the Agency to resolve all outstanding issues, including through concluding and implementing an Additional Protocol, as soon as possible.

IAEA Administration

Lastly, Madame President,

To meet the challenges of realising the global benefits of nuclear technology, it is important that the IAEA’s resources are managed efficiently and sustainably to deliver its key priorities within existing funding envelopes. We also emphasise the importance of improving diversity in the Secretariat’s staffing and senior appointments, and welcome efforts in this regard to date.

In closing Madame President, let me reiterate the UK’s continued strong support for the vital work of the IAEA, in ensuring a safe and secure future for civil nuclear energy around the world, and maintaining an effective safeguards regime which underpins it. We look forward to its continued success, and that of this General Conference.

Thank you.

Speech: Boosting earning power everywhere


Provost, Mr Mayor, David, ladies and gentlemen

It is an enormous pleasure to be back here in this great city of Birmingham, at this renowned University, and in the company of the new Mayor of the West Midlands to talk about Industrial Strategy. I’d like to welcome Bob Sleigh and my ministers; Claire Perry, Margot James and David Prior.

A year and a week ago, on the evening of the day that I was appointed Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy I came to this University for my first public engagement and it is great to be back.

During the last year I have been in the West Midlands on average every three weeks and there is good reason for that.

This city and this region, embody many of the opportunities that we have in creating an industrial strategy for the nation.

The city region with the strongest growth of all the big cities in the UK – including London.

A city region that has created over 100,000 private sector jobs since 2010.

A region of advanced manufacturing, of services, of education, of artistic and cultural excellence – all reinforcing each other.

Indeed this great university – one of a constellation of 12 in the region, which contribute over £1 billion to the economy – is a living embodiment of how civic leadership, business prosperity and educational excellence can work together. When Joseph Chamberlain as Mayor of Birmingham contemplated the prospect of this University he said:

I believe no greater project has ever been proposed to a city.

He would be very proud of this University today, in what it gives to the city and to the West Midlands, and indeed to the nation and to the world.

It is a particular thrill for me that the West Midlands now has, in Andy Street, an elected Mayor able to lead this region forward.

I say a particular thrill because my time in government has been motivated by the conviction that our future success, not just as an economy but as a society, should be founded on the regional strengths and local leadership that has been the source of prosperity in the past.

I proposed City Deals, which became Devolution Deals with the establishment not just of a Mayor but with devolved budgets and powers to make that leadership count.

Andy and I have always believed that the West Midlands Devolution Deal should be the foundation – not the end point - of further empowerment of the Region as a vital part of our Industrial Strategy.

The Mayor wrote to the government 2 weeks ago setting out proposals for further devolution of powers.

I am delighted to announce today that we will begin talks with the Mayor and the Local Authorities over the coming weeks, with a view to agreeing a further devolution package that will ensure that he has the powers he needs to support delivery of the industrial strategy in the West Midlands.


At the heart of the industrial strategy for the West Midlands is trade. The growing success of the economy here has been based on the rising demand for the goods and services produced by the people of the West Midlands to be sold to customers globally.

The Black Country promotes the strengths of its area under the slogan ‘Made in the Black Country, Sold around the world’.

From cars to components, from financial services to computer games, from cultural excellence to food and drink, not forgetting the students who come from overseas to study at the universities, this region depends absolutely on trade with the world.

People who voted for Brexit did not vote to be less prosperous.

And similarly in a region of trade in a nation of trade, people did not vote to trade less – including with our European neighbours.

Often, when I travel overseas, I encounter the assumption that the vote for Brexit was part of a global move towards protectionism – for trading less, for retreating from the world.

I always say that in Britain nothing could be further from the truth.

Both the Leave and the Remain campaigns wanted Britain to trade more, not less.

That is why we have been clear at the outset of the negotiations with the European Union that we want to see a comprehensive free trade agreement that will maintain tariff and barrier free trade with our European partners.

And the West Midlands is one of the best examples in the country of how each product created, in services as well as manufacturing, is part of a network. There is scarcely a product or a service made here for export that is not an advanced combination of components, capital equipment, design, expertise and intellectual property from a wide range of countries.

Indeed, it is one of the triumphs of a modern, advanced economy that what we produce combines the output and ingenuity of so many different people and companies – most of them unknown to each other.

That’s why our approach, as the Prime Minister has put it, to be a global champion of free trade, is to want to increase the complex exchange of products and services between countries, not to aim for a sort of national self-sufficiency.

Industrial Strategy

This theme will run through our modern Industrial Strategy. If every part of Britain is to prosper in the future we need to ensure that we become even more specialist and expert and that we have the right policies and institutions in place to drive the productivity – which is to say, the earning power – of the economy, and the people and places that make it up.

I want to thank all of the organisations represented here – and beyond – for the formidable response to the consultation that we have undertaken on our green paper ‘Building our Industrial Strategy’.

The title of the green paper was chosen deliberately to reflect the fact that this had to be a shared national endeavour.

An effective industrial strategy has to stand the test of time – a short term strategy is a contradiction in terms.

And if it is to endure it has to engage the experience and insights of the entrepreneurs, managers, workers, investors, consumers, scientists, researchers, local leaders – everyone who has a stake in a prosperous future.

The response has been extraordinary.

Over 1,900 written responses – full, thoughtful and creative. From all parts of the United Kingdom – because this must be a strategy for all 4 nations of the United Kingdom; from new start-ups to big businesses; from organisations from the Premier League to the Wellcome Trust and the Women’s Engineering Society.

Later in the year we will respond formally to the consultation with a white paper. But the shape of it is already becoming clear.

Our strategy

At its heart is a recognition that in order for all our citizens to be able to look forward with confidence to a prosperous future, we need to plan to improve our ability to earn that prosperity.

To enjoy a high and rising standard of living we must plan to be more productive than in the past.

Economists have pointed to what they have called a productivity puzzle in Britain. That we appear to generate less value for our efforts than, say, people in Germany or France. In other words, we have to work longer to get the same rewards.

It’s not that we want – or need – people to work longer hours. It’s that we need to ensure that we find and seize opportunities to work more productively – as a country, as cities and regions, as businesses and as individuals. If we can do so, we can increase the earning power of our country and our people.

We have great strengths. Our economy has been extraordinarily good at creating jobs. When we look at our closest neighbours, we can be truly proud of the fact almost everyone of working age in this country is in work and earning.

With the introduction of the National Living Wage we have boosted the weekly earnings of the lowest paid workers. To further this approach, we need to boost earning power, too.

Our strategy will create the conditions that boost earning power throughout the country – its people, places and companies.

Working more productively requires higher skills, more investment, and business sectors raising their performance. The benefits must then feed through into higher pay, especially for people in parts of the country whose earnings have not kept pace with the best performing areas. And it means continuing with our success at boosting employment including by reaching people, such as those who are disabled, over-fifty, and in other groups, who find it harder to participate in the jobs market.

We will raise our earning power by focussing on five key foundations of a successful productive economy.

People matter most. Our ability to earn a good living – and, as Matthew Taylor has pointed out recently, to have work that is of good quality, in terms not just of pay but of security, opportunities for advancement and fulfilment – depends on people everywhere having the education and training that helps them be productive and competitive.

So the first component of our modern Industrial Strategy will be to invest in skills, particularly through reforming technical education.

Next, innovation. Our earning power depends not just on our education and training but also our capacity then to innovate – to develop new ideas, absorb the ideas developed by others, and to apply them. We have great science and research in this country. But we have not always been so good at commercialising it by transforming it into new enterprises or innovating within existing enterprises.

Place is more important than ever: increasingly we cluster not around natural resources but around other people with skills and ideas which enable us to be more productive. At their strongest clusters of talent and expertise can become magnets to attract businesses and jobs. There is too great an unevenness in the earning power of different cities, towns and counties across the United Kingdom. Addressing the challenges – and the opportunities – faced by different places depends on local knowledge, commitment and leadership, and our industrial strategy will give a bigger role for that than has characterised Britain during decades past.

We need to make sure we have got the physical infrastructure we need to promote economic growth – from transport to super-fast broadband. We will invest in a world-class infrastructure. Efficient clean energy is particularly important. We aim to increase public investment and encourage more business investment alongside it.

As well as physical infrastructure there is the invisible infrastructure of a modern liberal society. Because it is invisible we sometimes under-estimate how valuable this is and the UK is particularly richly endowed with it. For example, trust in the integrity and efficiency of our legal system encourages foreign investment here. The English language is one reason why overseas students want to study here and our creative industries are so successful.

A free press is crucial for tackling corruption and mismanagement of funds – private or public. There is a positive role for government in sustaining this kind of infrastructure as well. The government will ensure our regime for protecting intellectual property remains effective and up-to- date.

We can boost the performance of our businesses by opening up domestic and international markets and helping promising growing companies to scale up. Britain can be the best place in the world to start and grow a business.

We will work with key business sectors where there is a genuine appetite for partnership with government and where government has a useful contribution to make. Government needs to be more open and accessible to business. We can do better at using the sheer scale of public procurement to help SMEs and innovative new businesses. But industrial strategy means more than this – it means working closely with sectors where there is an appetite to join forces: companies large and small working together to create shared institutions and working with colleges, universities, local leaders and central government to align efforts.

Even as we have been developing our Industrial Strategy we’ve already made real progress on these fronts.

We have committed to the biggest increase in public science and innovation funding for nearly 40 years, providing £4.7 billion to 2020.

We are ensuring that businesses stay at the forefront of this innovation: our new Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund – worth almost £1 billion – will back areas where the UK has the potential to turn research strengths into a global industrial and commercial lead – I will have more to say about this is a moment.

We have set out how we will reform technical education in this country, implementing Lord Sainsbury’s recommendations, simplifying the system and investing in high quality ‘T’ levels

We are working on sector deals which show how industries and government can work together to improve productivity and competitiveness of their sector.

And through local industrial strategies, the government will help the business leaders, community representatives in each local economy to put a plan together to build on their strength and stimulate local growth.

We have also hugely increased our investment in our infrastructure – new runways, new railways and new car technologies, smart grids and green energy as well as 4G and 5G technologies – which make the country as a whole productive. Here in Birmingham, the galvanising effects of HS2 on investment in the city are already being felt even before the track has begun to be laid.

Industrial Strategy challenges

One of the strengths of an industrial strategy is to be able to bring together concerted effort on areas of opportunity that have previously been in different sectors, or which require joining forces between entrepreneurs, scientists and researchers, industries, and local and national government.

I want to describe 3 of those today.

The first is the launch of the Faraday Challenge.

We know that in the future the potential for renewable energy is often limited by its intermittency – and so we know that the ability to store energy when it generated to be used when it is needed is the key to much greater deployment.

In Britain we have become a world leader in the deployment – and increasingly in the manufacture – of offshore wind energy systems.

Our automotive sector has also established itself as one of the most innovative and efficient in the world – not least in the cluster of firms large and small here in the Midlands. The United Kingdom is the largest consumer market for electric vehicles in the European Union.

Our universities have world-class expertise in new energy technologies – not least at this University’s Energy Institute and the Energy Systems Catapult and the Energy Research Accelerator located here in the West Midlands.

Joining together the research, development, application and manufacture of energy storage technologies – and specifically battery storage – is a huge opportunity for the energy sector and the automotive sector alike.

So as part of our Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund I am today launching the Faraday Challenge, which will put £246 million into research, innovation and scale-up of battery technology.

The first element will be a competition led by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to bring the best minds and facilities together to create a Battery Institute.

The most promising research completed by the Institute will be moved closer to the market through industrial collaborations led by Innovate UK.

And the Advanced Propulsion Centre will work with the automotive sector to identify the best proposition for a new state-of-the-art open access National Battery Manufacturing Development facility.

The work that we do through the Faraday Challenge will – quite literally – power the automotive and energy revolution where, already, the UK is leading the world.

We have an automotive industry of global renown. Last year, car production hit a ten year high at 1.7 million units.

And to make sure we are ready for the industry’s next stage, to advance our position at the forefront of design and manufacturing, we have invested heavily in expertise and research around autonomous electronic vehicles.

So as my second piece of good news, I’m happy to announce the next phase of that investment. The next wave of our collaborative research and development competition – Connected and Autonomous Vehicles Fund, worth £25 million – is open today.

For the first time we will open proposals to off-road vehicles. We could be ushering in the future vehicles and farming machinery which will not only revolutionise the way we produce food but could greatly improve our productivity.

But the advantages of electrification of transport will also mean a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, as well as increasing quality of life through reduced pollution and noise.

As is evident from what I have said so far, among the most exciting opportunities facing the world today is in the ability to generate and consume energy much more flexibly than in the past. So this is why I’m pleased to set out my third and final announcement of this speech.

Today we are publishing ‘Smart Systems and Flexibility’ – a plan to make the UK’s energy system smarter will help reduce energy bills, balance demand on the grid and realise up to £40 billion of benefits. It will allow homes and businesses to better manage their electricity use and open up the possibility of flexible energy tariffs to reduce bills and increase efficiency of the energy system.

But, importantly, it will open up new markets by addressing regulatory barriers to electricity storage, driving down costs for consumers through better demand management, and improving the market for new, innovative systems and business models.

Already energy companies are putting forward some innovative ideas, like E.ON offering a solar panels and storage that lets customers store their solar energy which they can now use day or night, potentially cutting their electricity bill in half.

With each of these announcements, we’re seeing earning power made a reality. Because it’s not just about batteries and storage – it is about all the technologies that will be needed for a clean, cheap, secure energy future – from big pieces of electrical engineering kit to tiny sensors and intelligent devices that will make up the Smart grid. And we see a determined, joined-up, far-sighted and deliberate approach from government.

And that’s why the goal of the Industrial Strategy must always be, ultimately, the creation of good jobs for all, everywhere in the country.

The Faraday Challenge to make Britain the go-to place in the world for battery storage.

A ‘Smart Systems Plan’ to make Britain one of the best places on earth for energy innovation – to them benefit of consumers, workers, investors and the environment.

Investment in autonomous vehicles so we can lead the world’s transition to new ways of transport, as well as its energy transition.

A further Devolution Deal for the West Midland, reinforcing the opportunities spearheaded by its excellent Mayor.

All part of a modern industrial strategy that is proving a rallying point for confidence and optimism across all sectors and businesses.

The motto of this great city of Birmingham is a single word: ‘Forward’.

It is the perfect encapsulation of our aims for our modern industrial strategy and this is the perfect place to talk about those ambitions today.

Speech: Instruct European Research Infrastructure Consortia (ERIC) inaugural event

Good afternoon. I am pleased to be here for this special moment. It is good to see so many distinguished guests in London - I am delighted to be here to celebrate the transition of Instruct to an ERIC – a successful international partnership in structural biology hosted formally here in the UK.

As Andrew (Professor Andrew Harrison) and John (Professor Sir John Savill) said, modern scientific research nearly always involves the sharing of expertise to tackle the hardest questions. The bigger the science, the bigger the opportunity for collaboration.

By facilitating access to the best infrastructure, Instruct is going to create new chances for our best minds to work together.

Supporting research and innovation is a priority for this government and at the centre of our Industrial Strategy. The Prime Minister early this year in her Lancaster House Speech on the government’s approach to EU exit, confirmed the UK as the go to place for science and innovation. Our aim is to facilitate collaboration with our European and international partners on major science, research and technology initiatives.

I appreciate that the UK’s decision to leave the EU has caused uncertainty for the research community. Nobody in Europe benefits from the loss of research competitiveness that may occur if we let ourselves get distracted from maintaining research excellence through collaboration; it fundamentally underpins the way it is done today.

This is why the UK government acted quickly to underwrite competitively bid for EU funding. I will now aim to provide clarification on how this will work as I want to put any uncertainty to rest.

As a reminder, under this guarantee, the government has committed to underwrite the funding for all successful bids made by UK participants for Horizon 2020 projects that are submitted before EU exit. We know that research projects can run for some time. That’s why the underwrite covers projects that are ongoing at the point of EU exit, as well as funding that will be applied for before the UK’s departure from the EU and that is subsequently successful post-brexit. This is an important point that I hope is passed through the research community.

We also appreciate that not all Horizon 2020 projects are applied for and funded in the same way. The government’s underwrite will include those schemes not directly administered by the Commission but that award Horizon 2020 funding. It will also include schemes where the application has two stages as long as the first application is submitted before the UK leaves the EU.

Now of course, nothing is ever simple and there will of course be details to be worked through and this does all sit within the context of wider negotiations that are ongoing in Brussels at this very moment. We look forward to continuing our productive engagement with the Commission to find a mutually beneficial solution.

Earlier John demonstrated the power of discovery science in developing research methods to solve major problems.

We all know what structural biology can do: it can build on basic science and help discover innovative treatments for major infections like Zika and the Ebola virus.

We’ve seen that Cryo-Electron Microscopy can help biologists understand how Alzheimer’s affects the brain, something that could help millions of people in the future.

This has led to demand for investment across Europe, which is why I’m pleased to announce today that we’re investing over £11 million for Cryo-Electron Microscopy facilities in the Universities of Glasgow, Leicester and Oxford.

This will establish 2 new consortia across Scotland and the Midlands, as well as a new dangerous pathogens containment facility in Oxford.

I can also announce today that we are investing £22 million in ultra-high and very-high field Nuclear Magnetic Resonance facilities in the UK which will help us understand how macromolecules play a role in health and disease.

These investments will allow us to create better drugs and targeted therapies to help the UK and Europe keep it at the forefront of structural biology.

This field of research will also benefit from a new multi-disciplinary science and technology research centre, named in honor of the pioneering British scientist – Rosalind Franklin.

With a central hub at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus and with £100 million government funding, the institute will initially focus its research on next-generation imaging technologies and drug discovery.

We want the UK to continue to be a go-to place for scientists, innovators and tech investors across the world. I hope today’s announcement will continue that legacy.

I expect many researchers to benefit from Instruct-ERIC support, in doing so look forward to seeing Instruct cited in many discoveries that could, quite literally, change the world in the years ahead. Thank you.

Speech: SMMT Connected 2017 conference

Thank you. It is a real privilege to be here to be able to open this event.

We stand on the cusp of a radical shift in the automotive sector. The government should do what it can to facilitate of what is going to be a transformational set of possibilities.

Predicting the future, we know, is notoriously tough.

It was in 1894 ‘The Times’ published a leader column, at a time when London transport was dominated by horse and carts. They predicted that “In 50 years, every street in London will be buried under nine feet of manure.”

Now London in 1944 faced many challenges, but that wasn’t one of them.

The automobile changed everything for the future.

It is clear already that it doesn’t take much of a gaze into the crystal ball to know that the technology that is already being applied is going to make changes that are even more profound than those we have experienced in previous decades.

More than a million vehicles on UK roads are already connected to the internet. And the pace of development of self-driving vehicle technology is simply astonishing as everyone here knows and as we will be seeing more today.

How we respond to these opportunities and this shift is of huge importance.

I am very conscious, speaking on behalf of the government, that the only way we can do this and the best way we can do it, is to work together to solve the policy challenges, the research investment challenges, with you, in partnership.

This has been the way that the success of the automotive sector has been built over recent years and the years ahead provide an opportunity to deepen that and to invite colleagues in relevant and adjacent sectors to join what has been an enormously successful collaboration.

It is worth just pointing out and reinforcing just why the level of interest and excitement in this subject matter it as it is. The video that Mike (Hawes) produced captures a lot of that.

There is the commercial opportunity and anyone in business will have a keen eye to that and I’ll come on to that.

As that video shows, the potential for improving and in some cases, transforming people’s lives is astonishing. One thing to emphasise is the role of these technologies in saving lives.

Nearly 90% of road crashes on our network of roads in this country involve human error. That said, we have some of the safest roads in the world in the UK, but even so, 1,700 people still die on our roads every year, and many more are injured and traumatised by that.

Over the decades, everyone in this room in the automotive sector has made huge and deliberate strides in improving safety. The government has supported that through a regulatory environment with advanced safety standards.

So we should, as a nation, be proud of the progress we’ve made.

In 1975, 6,400 people died on our roads. By 1995 that was down to 3,600. As I said, today, the toll stands at 1,700. Yet that is still 30 bereaved families each and every week in this country.

Greater automation, greater autonomy, and the help that we see through these technologies offers the possibility to transform that figure.

It will also mean new freedoms for elderly people and those with mobility impairments, opening up aspects of living their lives that seemed to be off limits in the past. Opening up the opportunities that many of us have taken for granted.

Even for those of us who drive now, the freedom not to have to, while still being able to get about where and when we want to, will be liberating.

Then there’s the tremendous potential for improvements in productivity, new investment and faster growth right across these technologies.

The SMMT and the Automotive Council has a clear view that Mike Hawes expressed earlier, that the UK can be a world leader in this transformational field with our strengths, not only in automotive, but in research and development.

We can be agile and fleet of foot in having the right regulatory conditions in place, we can put in place the right conditions to ensure Britain is successful.

Companies around the world are making major investments already in this technology.

There is obviously a long-term value for the UK, as a whole, if we can make sure we punch above our weight in the development and the commercialisation of these technologies.

It is very evident that if the UK doesn’t take this opportunity, there will be many other countries that will be very keen to do so.

As part of the industrial strategy that we are working together with the industries in this room on, we have been very clear of the importance of innovations in mobility as a driving force of many of the changes that we think are available and that we can play this position of leadership.

We need to invest as a government, together with the industry, in the research, the skills of the workforce, the infrastructure we need to be competitive now and into the future.

We have strength in depth in many of the relevant areas of research for example robotics, artificial intelligence and telecommunications.

We have a wonderful history of innovation in the automotive sector, with UK designers and engineers sought after all over the world including many of you here in this room today.

And I’m determined that the government will be completely supportive in seeking to enable, to encourage, to work closely together, that where barriers are thrown up by discoveries then we can act quickly and decisively to remove them and address what might otherwise hold development back.

We need to do this in partnership, we need to this in partnership not just with the industry but with our research institutions and our universities and our insurers for example.

Some of the most exciting self-driving and connected vehicle demonstration programmes anywhere in the world are already happening in the UK, backed up by over £200 million plus of investment from industry and from government.

I think is especially interesting about the UK’s programme is who is involved in taking projects forward, and what they are trying to achieve.

For example, if anyone has time to go down to Greenwich over the next few months you may come across a number of fully automated, fully electric shuttles that will be taking people around the peninsula.

It won’t just be the technology that is being demonstrated, but the breadth of partnership required to make it work in everyday situations.

Yes, of course, there are software companies like Oxbotica involved, developing the control system software.

Yes, there are vehicle manufacturers such as Westfield involved, who built the shuttle based on an existing design already in operation at Heathrow airport

There are research labs like TRL involved, who have been engaged in automated vehicle research in the UK since the 1950s.

But other partners may be less obvious but equally crucial.

Greenwich Council, for example, who know this is an opportunity to solve problems of urban congestion and to further reinforce the many attractions of Greenwich.

The Royal College of Art who are keen to explore the implications for future vehicle design. I think back to that great flourishing in South Kensington of the ‘Albertopolis’ where you had institutions like the Royal College of Art set up with Imperial College and with the research and the artistic and scientific institutions working side-by-side on the shared problems of the day. You have just that possibility today.

Going back to Greenwich, the insurance company Royal Sun Alliance, who are working closely to assess the implications for the insurance industry.

It is part of a programme that is, and in my view, has to be collaborative by design, with the brightest minds from our universities working in partnership with different industries and those parts of the public sector that are needed to anticipate challenges and seize opportunities.

I’m very conscious that central government has a vital role too – not least by ensuring that we have the right regulatory framework to enable the development of this technology.

The UK, as many of you in the room know, was one of the first countries in the world to set out a framework for the testing of automated vehicles on public roads. Those of us that have had some experience of that are excited by it.

Safety is of course our primary concern, and our Code of Practice sets out how we think developers should act to ensure this.

But we have got to be careful and have taken care to design a framework that is supportive of a technology that has the potential to save lives.

As I was saying, most of the advanced here are positively contributing to a safer world and we should approach regulation with that in mind. An excessively cautious approach would risk stifling this potential and ultimately cost lives.

On the subject of risk, Mike has referred to the Vehicle Technology and Aviation Bill currently going through parliament, which addresses the issue of insurance for the developing market.

The Bill ensures that those affected by collisions – whether caused by a human driver or their automated vehicle – are financially protected.

The vital point is that, for affected individuals, the insurance process should feel more or less the same. Motorists and victims of collisions won’t be forced to go to court to obtain compensation.

They will have the benefit of fast and fair insurance compensation – just as they do today. And that will be vital, it seems to me, to advance the commercial sales of self-driving cars.

Over the coming years we will take forward a programme of regulatory reform to ensure we stay up to date as the technology evolves.

Of course, more will need to be done; which is why we will engage closely and continuously with all stakeholders to ensure we always strike the right balance.

One of the other big thing that central government can do is provide direct support for the development and testing of connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) technology in the UK.

That is why a few months ago, at the Autumn Statement, the government made a commitment to £100 million of new investment, to be match-funded by industry.

Today, I am delighted to announce that the first £55 million phase of competition funding will begin early next month.

Last Summer some of you responded to the invitation when we asked stakeholders for their views about the UK testing infrastructure for connected autonomous vehicles.

You told us that the UK could do something genuinely unique – and in the process create the world’s most effective CAV testing cluster.

And this how you told us it could be done:

First, by coordinating our existing, and in many cases world class, assets into a coherent national ecosystem. So one asset complementing and reinforcing another.

Secondly, capitalising on our ability to test anywhere, enabling end-to-end testing across virtual, controlled and public environments.

Thirdly, by removing barriers to entry for SMEs and start-ups with fairly priced access to this comprehensive testing environment, and to support them in making best use of it. I’m conscious that as well the major players, we have new insurgents who may not have access to the same degree of infrastructure. If we can make it available to them, then this offers manifold opportunities for them, for the country and for the bigger audience.

And, finally, by concentrating investment where it will make the most difference: building up facilities and capacities that can serve as a one-stop shop for UK innovators and international partners.

Following the advice we’ve been given in recent months, we have decided to focus on the broad cluster of excellence between London and Birmingham.

This will make sure we can capitalise on the strengths of test tracks at Millbrook and Mira, at the science parks at Case New Holland and Cranfield, and places like Coventry and Milton Keynes. They can work together, all of the institutions, all of the test tracks, all of the research facilities, can come together to create a place where everything is available.

Ultimately, the only way to benefit the country as a whole is to use this stage of investment to establish Britain unambiguously as the best place in the world to work on CAV technology.

In doing so our ambitious is not solely to demonstrate excellence in this field, but, in doing so, to provide an exemplar, and I think the sector couldn’t be a better exemplar, of what a modern industrial strategy can achieve.

This is both a hugely important opportunity in itself, but it is also in a sense, a test bed for other approaches to the Industrial Strategy in other sectors. I’m determined we will make a huge success of this so that we can apply it elsewhere.

Of course, many challenges remain on this journey, there will be ups and downs, and it is important we have a relationship that we can work together and work hard collaboratively to overcome obstacles and barriers, many of which may not be obvious.

However, what is clear to me, as someone who has come into this role and got to know the automotive sector pretty well, that the opportunity to change lives of citizens is huge.

We are I think in this country a nation with a justified reputation for innovation, entrepreneurship and for being makers as well as traders. We always have been and always will be. It is a history that unites us, and it should guide our future too.

So if we cannot predict the future in terms of mobility, we can certainly work together and we can be the ones who, if we do this, I think can create it here and others can follow our example.