Industrial Strategy sets out plan to strengthen secondary materials market

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Theresa May, UK Prime Minister said the Industrial Strategy "will help propel Britain to global leadership of the industries of the future - from artificial intelligence and big data to clean energy and self-driving vehicles" "As we leave the European Union and forge a new path for ourselves, we need to focus on building a better future for our country and all the people who live in it".

"A new United Kingdom location will enable us to build on our proud legacy of invention and be an important contributor to the vibrant and rapidly growing United Kingdom life sciences community, while providing access for more collaborations within the European life science ecosystem", noted MSD's Research Laboratories president Roger Perlmutter.

"We are exporting our skills and knowledge worldwide, winning multimillion-pound contracts in wind and marine energy - if this industrial strategy fully supports these world-leading sectors, it can drive growth across all parts of the United Kingdom and create tens of thousands of high-value jobs".

Laura Cohen, chief executive of the British Ceramic Federation, said the lobby group was "disappointed not to see clearer proposals to benefit United Kingdom competitiveness on energy for ceramics and other energy intensives industries".

However little detail on the substance of the deals has yet been published.

The strategy "heralds a new approach to how government and business can work together to shape a stronger, fairer economy", Mrs May said in the foreword to the document.

"The white paper acts as a good foundation for a new partnership with industry where Government and business can ensure consistency in policy thinking and implementation to ensure the United Kingdom is world leader in these new technologies".

"We believe that the strong integration of cross strategy themes such as stimulating productivity, growth and exports; investment in research; investment in innovation; investment in infrastructure; attracting and retaining a skilled, fit for objective workforce are fundamental linkages in the Industrial Strategy".

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The Sector Deal, confirmed in the white paper later today, will drive investment in the UK's world-leading research infrastructure and boost productivity in the sector.

The "Sector Deals" cover construction, artificial intelligence (AI), automotive and life sciences - to help sectors grow and equip businesses for future opportunities.

The section of the Industrial Strategy linked to the circular economy and the waste and resources strategy due out in 2018 look to be aligning with the European Commission's circular economy proposals which are nearing completion. Better planning for waste and waste-derived resources around the country, especially to provide sufficient capacity of the right kind in the right place to support local economic development, is a key ask.

In terms of markets for secondary materials, the government says it will take "further measures to strengthen them, although no indication is given of what these might be".

It also set a target of a 20% per capita reduction in food waste through working with the Courtauld Commitment, and reiterated a pledge to achieve "zero avoidable waste" by 2050.

This work is to build on the foundations "set out in our 25 Year Environment Plan", says the government - although the plan itself has been delayed and is not expected until the New Year.

Artificial intelligence - "we will put the United Kingdom at the forefront of the artificial intelligence and data revolution".