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Four "sector deals" aim to replicate the growth of the vehicle industry in recent years by encouraging investment into highly productive areas including life sciences, construction and artificial intelligence.

This new state-of-the-art United Kingdom hub is meant to help ensure innovative research into future treatments for patients and pioneering medicines are completed in Britain, according to business secretary Greg Clark.

In a nutshell it's this rather well-worn story: the rhetoric is compelling, but the substance is lacking.

The strategy sets Britain the challenges of being at the forefront of the artificial intelligence revolution, meeting the needs of ageing population, using "clean technology" and becoming a "world leader" in the movement of people and goods.

"The CBI welcomes the Government's renewed focus on exports and looks forward to hearing further details on their upcoming review into export strategy".

The investment was announced as part of the government's long-awaited Industrial Strategy created to prepare the economy for Brexit.

Sector deals: Partnerships between government, business and government to pursue innovation in life sciences, artificial intelligence, the automotive industry and the construction sectors.

MSD, known as Merck and Co in the USA and Canada, announced plans to launch a life sciences discovery research facility just hours ahead of the United Kingdom government's release of its industrial strategy.

Houson added that the investment presents a major opportunity for MSD to work in collaboration with the United Kingdom government to build on the "forward-thinking and ambitious" industrial strategy white paper.

The government will invest a further £725 million over the next three years in the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, to be matched by private investment, to support these grand challenges.

'The move to cleaner economic growth - through low carbon technologies and the efficient use of resources", it says "is one of the greatest industrial opportunities of our time.

"The way we earn and live our lives as workers, citizens and consumers is being transformed by new technologies".

It later elaborates: "We will support businesses" long-term productivity through innovative approaches to resource efficiency. "By developing these world-leading systems in the United Kingdom, we can cut bills while creating high value jobs for the future", the strategy states. As part of this work, we will work with industry to explore options to introduce electronic tracking of waste. The green paper was announced to much fanfare earlier this year, however our recent Future Attitudes study, which surveyed over a thousand senior SME decision makers across the United Kingdom, revealed an astonishing lack of awareness about the Strategy, with fewer than three in ten (29 per cent) small and medium-sized enterprises claiming to have heard about it...

There is of course mention of the 25-year Environment Plan, long promised by the government and hoped for in the first months of 2017, and a new strategy for resources and waste, confirmed in the Clean Growth Strategy.

As well as the explicit references to waste and resources, opportunities could also be found for the sector and its development through the commitment to research and development.

Chair of the Life Science Industrial Strategy Advisory Board, Sir John Bell said: "Today's investment provides strong evidence that a coherent industrial strategy can have a real, tangible impact on economic activity in sectors that we need to strengthen and grow".

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


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