From the TUC

CSR: a nod to industrial policy?

20 Oct 2010, by in Economics

The small print of today’s CSR contains this nugget:

“The Government will provide £200 million a year by 2014-15 to support manufacturing and business development, with a focus on supporting potential high growth companies and the commercialisation of technologies, including funding for an elite network of Research and Development intensive technology and innovation centres.”

This is interesting. We need more details, of course. If they are providing £200m a year by 2014-15, when does this funding start and by what increments will it increase to take it up to this figure in four years?

We might find out more in the Growth White Paper, which we expect shortly, or in the Manufacturing Framework, due out in November.

I hate to look a gift horse in the mouth, but £200m is peanuts. Peter Mandelson’s ‘New Industry, New Jobs’ had £750m, with a further £200m added, and that was not a king’s ransom. And I don’t know how many Research and Development intensive technology and innovation centres you would need to describe them collectively as an “elite network”, but I don’t imagine they would leave much change from the £200m.

Nevertheless, I like the line about the focus on supporting potential high growth companies. That fits squarely with TUC policy in support of a modern, intelligent industrial strategy. So Iwelcome this statement and look forward to more details.