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Call for evidence

Post-pandemic economic growth: Industrial Strategy Sub-inquiry

Terms of Reference for Post-pandemic economic growth: Industrial Strategy Sub-inquiry

On 3 June 2020, the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee launched a super inquiry on Post-Pandemic Economic Growth. This wide-ranging inquiry will look at the options available to Government to secure our economic recovery from the impact of Covid-19; covering investment, industrial strategy, jobs, skills, exports and sustainable growth. This over-arching inquiry will run throughout this Parliament and will include a number of sub-inquiries.

“Industrial Strategy: growing an inclusive, sustainable economy which delivers for the whole United Kingdom.” is a sub-inquiry to examine whether, particularly following the impact of Covid-19, the Government’s current industrial strategy (IS) is strategic, focused on the correct sectors and issues and able to grow a more productive, inclusive and sustainable economy which generates wealth, innovation and high quality jobs. It will focus not just on the policy substance of the IS but also the structure, delivery framework and financing associated with it, how the national IS connects to local industrial strategies and whether it aligns with broader government-led interventions in the market.

Key issues will include:

Industrial Strategy (IS) Priorities: how does the Government understand, diagnose and monitor the underlying constraints on UK economic growth and is this informing the IS? How has Covid-19 impacted this evidence-base and should the IS change to reflect this?

• Relevance of the IS: how can the IS be made more relevant and accessible for the UK’s supply chain, LEPs, Growth Hubs and for individual companies, investors and entrepreneurs? Has it helped SMEs grow and innovate? Is it helping Ministers decide on broader market interventions and policies to recover the economy following Covid-19?

IS Delivery: is the IS deliverable within the current institutional framework? Does the IS Council have sufficient insights and powers? Are Whitehall departments delivering on their respective IS obligations and how is the IS being optimised over time? How has the IS operated in the Devolved Administrations and how does it compare to our key competitors?

• IS Foundations: what data exists to evidence the impact the IS has had on the five foundations (ideas, people, infrastructure, business environment and places)? How has the IS impacted existing embedded policy areas – such as R&D funding and skills and education delivery – across Government departments?

• IS Grand Challenge Missions: is the Government focusing on the right grand challenge missions (artificial Intelligence and data, ageing society, clean growth, future of mobility) and, if not, which are missing? Are missions addressing the right problems and are they the best approach? Where the Government has established additional capacity to deliver them (e.g. the Office of AI), has it succeeded, how is this evidenced, and can they be improved?

• IS Support: is existing IS support (e.g. British Business Bank and Innovate UK), effective? Are IS priorities properly financed and how is value for money assessed? What type of businesses/organisations have benefited from R&D funding under the IS Challenge Funds? Where investment risks are taken, how does Government assess and mitigate them? Does the IS merely bolster existing strengths or balance it against frontier innovation work?

• IS Sector Deals: is the Government focusing on the right sectors and, if not, which are missing? Have they delivered growth in goods or services output, solved underlying problems (e.g. productivity or decarbonisation) and/or created or improved jobs/pay? Does the Government need to rethink/re-prioritise sector deals because of Covid-19 and Brexit?

• Measuring Success: has the IS increased national and regional GDP and GDP per capita and should it aim to deliver a more inclusive and sustainable economy? How should IS success be measured and are current tools/metrics adequate, especially if seeking to deliver goals broader than GDP?

This call for written evidence has now closed.

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