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New Report From 112 Business Leaders Calls for Government to Pick Winning Technologies and Sectors to Drive Innovation-Led Growth in the UK

LONDON May 22, 2012

PA Consulting Group publish es major r eport on the views of 112 UK business leaders from the fastest growing technology and innovation sectors :

Government should actively embrace and support a modern ‘Industrial Strategy’ for innovation-led growth to secure economic recovery, say UK business leaders. This is not a call for a return to the 1970s’ ‘Industry Policy’ of picking winners at a company level. It is about identifying and supporting winning technologies and sectors.

Martin Smith

Martin Smith


There was clear consensus from business around four key actions:  

1. Picking winning technologies and sectors

South Korea Germany

A modern industrial strategy should be led by industry and supported by Government. The targeted areas might be sectors such as automotive or aerospace or technologies such as lightweight vehicles or intelligent highway systems.

2. Aligning organisations active in targeted areas  


3. Encouraging entrepreneurism

A stronger culture of promoting and celebrating entrepreneurship across schools, universities, banks, public services and Government is vital. A successful innovation economy needs a high rate of start-up success (and failure) and an environment to support it. The view was more needs to be done to support SMEs in growing to become the medium sized companies (£50M – £100M) of tomorrow. The UK’s alternative investment market (AIM) provides much less depth and continuity of investment than US markets. Many UK SMEs site R&D offshore in return for funding. Mid-term finance is a particular problem, causing companies with successful early-stage growth to stagnate or sell out before achieving their full potential.

4. Increasing excitement about the manufacturing industry  

A technologically-advanced and competitive innovation economy needs investment in key skills across the board. There was a call for more of the UK’s school children to study science, technology, engineering and maths at school or university and greater awareness of the benefits of industrial careers.  To unlock growth in our highest-growth sectors we need to rebalance the higher education and further education sectors to support these subjects and develop proven career pathways for a high technology economy. The new ‘Inside Manufacturing’ programme, a joint public-private initiative, is a step in that direction. The scheme invites pupils, teachers and careers professionals to visit some of the UK’s leading facilities to learn about modern manufacturing and the range of jobs available.

Notes to the editor

About PA Consulting Group

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We work with businesses and governments to anticipate, understand and meet the challenges they face. We have outstanding technology-development capability and a unique breadth of skills, from strategy to performance improvement, from HR to IT. Our expertise covers energy, financial services, life sciences and healthcare, government and public services, defence and security, transport and logistics, telecommunications, consumer goods and automotive.

About George Freeman MP

Cambridge David Willetts tags/innovation  

About the report

Martin Smith

SOURCE PA Consulting Group

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