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Industrial Strategy

Part of Laser Misuse (Vehicles) Bill [Lords] (Programme) – in the House of Commons at 3:40 pm on 18th April 2018.

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Photo of Greg Clark Greg Clark The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy 3:40 pm, 18th April 2018

We are getting better at it. Most colleagues will have experience of their local universities and others, and most research universities have active programmes to spin out discoveries and reap the benefits. Again, through the industrial strategy challenge fund, funding is available on a match basis to universities to pursue that implementation of good ideas. My hon. Friend is absolutely right.

Let us take the future of mobility. Mr Cunningham and I have had many conversations about this country’s reputation not only for the efficient manufacture of vehicles—that is a proud record—but for innovation, whether in the west midlands or the world-beating cluster of Formula 1 businesses around Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire. The world comes to the UK for the next generation of technologies. Forty-year veterans of the automotive industry say that this is the most exciting time in their career, when not only the powertrain but the way in which vehicles navigate is undergoing a revolution. Around the world, there is increasing demand for that set of technologies and we have a strong capability in them. Again, setting a grand challenge is crucial.

We have set the Faraday challenge to be a world leader in the development and application of new battery technology. It is already attracting great interest around the world, and the hon. Member for Coventry South will know that the national battery manufacturing development facility will be located in Warwickshire at the heart of our cluster there.

On the ageing society, whether in Glasgow and Edinburgh or Cambridge, we have some of the best researchers in the world looking at medical breakthroughs that will be in increasing demand around the world. I make it clear that now and long into the future, we will invest in the facilities and the people to make us the place to come to research new innovations. As Members from Scotland will know, the Glasgow city deal had a big medical component to build on our success there.