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Reports: The role of IT in delivering the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy

Published in 2017 the Industrial Strategy white paper sets out the UK Government’s vision for building a Britain fit for the future.

The 256-page document outlines an ambitious vision structured around addressing four ‘Grand Challenges’. 

These four challenges look to:

  1. Put the UK at the forefront of the artificial intelligence and data revolution
  2. Maximise advantages for UK industry from the global shift to clean growth
  3. Enable the UK to become a world leader in the way people, goods and services move
  4. Harness the power of innovation to help meet the needs of our ageing society

Luckily for the Information Technology sector, all four of the aims are underpinned by IT innovation.

AI and the data revolution

AI and machine learning are already transforming business models across many sectors, and it’s hoped that embedding them across the UK will create thousands of jobs and economic growth.

To support rapid adoption of AI technologies at scale, the Office for AI is looking to work with six priority business sectors (cybersecurity, life sciences, construction, manufacturing, energy, and agricultural technology) and will collaborate with partners to promote the adoption of AI.

For companies already built around providing AI and data-driven tech solutions; are you ready to support this wide-scale adoption? Are your products and services the best they can be? Do you have access to the skilled people you need to keep up with the emerging competition? And do you know how you’re going to fund staying innovative in a fast-changing sector?

According to the strategy, AI could add £232bn to the UK economy by 2030 so the opportunity to not only adopt but to improve AI, machine learning, and data-driven tech is huge for those prepared for the challenge.

Clean growth

The aim of addressing the clean growth challenge is to see the UK lead the world in the development, manufacture and use of low carbon, cost-effective technologies, systems and services.

In practical terms, this means:

  • Developing smart systems that make clean energy cost-effective and able to cope with increased demand
  • Using technology to make homes and workplaces safer, healthier, more affordable and greener
  • Investing in innovation that helps energy-intensive industries be more efficient

Again, IT is at the heart of addressing this grand challenge, with data modelling, data science and software engineering just some of the areas that go hand-in-hand with helping turn a low carbon vision into reality.

Have you thought about how your IT products and services work with or for a greener future? And if they don’t, can you innovate and adapt them to?

Moving goods and people

Like with the other grand challenges, low-carbon transport is at the heart of changing how UK people and goods move around the globe.

This vision for greener transport extends to personal cars, public transport, private services and industrial mobility, looking towards connected and autonomous vehicles to provide the solution.

Clearly, this is a vision of transport that is completely reliant on software and hardware innovation as well as data-collection and green energy.

Innovation in this area is fast and continuous with some obvious big players invested in bringing this driverless vision to life, but that doesn’t mean there is no opportunity for smaller companies to also benefit. Can you?

Helping an aging society

The proportion of the UK population aged 65 and over is higher now than it has ever been, and one in three children born here today can be expected to live to 100.

The prospect of more people living longer must be considered when looking at transforming UK industry, because of social responsibility but also because of opportunity.

It’s undeniable that new demands have been created, for technology and data that supports innovative care, and allows older citizens to lead independent and fulfilled lives.

How can your IT business diversify to appeal to older generations, and can your products and services do anything to help?

2020 taught us how important it is to connect with others and put vulnerable members of society at the heart of our decisions, so this is a great area for IT businesses to invest time and money in.


The above gives a very broad overview of the Industrial Strategy and some food for thought for innovative IT businesses seeking growth opportunities.

And while the Strategy does outline a variety of investment programmes that will fund realisation of this vision, we know developing innovative technologies can be costly and accessing funds through these routes can be a painful process not right for everyone.

Thankfully there is additional help out there for those who want to be part of the revolution.

Many forward-thinking companies are using research and development tax relief to refocus their efforts and build business growth.

The average value of a tax relief claim is £63,000 and working with an advisor like MPA can make the process simple and quick, leaving you time to get on with seizing that opportunity.

So if you want to be rewarded for the hard work you’re probably already doing get in touch and start your claim journey with us today.

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