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Building Our Industrial Strategy – Exeter City Futures Response

Insight : 04 August 2017

Exeter City Futures is the only privately funded whole city transformation programme in the UK. Through harnessing data and analytics, our team are creating a world-leading sustainable city, with the ambitious goal of making Exeter energy independent and congestion free by 2025. Delivering on this target will require the successful interaction of many elements – at a local, national and international scale. It is an approach that embodies the 10 pillars set out in the government’s green paper ‘Building our Industrial Strategy’.

We stand on the brink of a technological transformation that will revolutionise and redefine the way we live, work and govern. The scale and scope of this global transformation will be unlike anything that has gone before it. This new phase of growth, dubbed the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’, offers huge potential for those regions that can position themselves to benefit. But international competition is fierce and set only to get fiercer. How the UK responds to maximise the opportunity of this new Industrial Revolution will define our place in the world and our success for subsequent generations. Getting our response right is absolutely essential.

Our response may seem grand, but we believe at a local level we have a mirror of the government’s industrial strategy that can be made to work to deal with global investment imperatives, local economic need (financially sustainable change) and create places with drastically improved health and quality of life. Throughout this document we have indicated where sections of our narrative address the consultation questions.

Our response presents a bold approach to stimulating an industrial and economic renaissance in the deep South West region and positions it as a driving force of national innovation, growth and exports in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In summary, our response:

  • Outlines moves government should take to unlock huge untapped human and financial capital to overhaul the growth potential of regional economies without subsidy
  • Recommends changes to existing institutional structures to radically enhance the interaction between problems, research, commercialisation, business support and growth
  • Outlines how investment in science, research and innovation should be targeted to build a new practical industrial legacy for the UK that delivers economic return
  • Outlines the start to place based cultural changes needed in our education system. Promoting entrepreneurialism, but also responsibility and how that can relate to value; the basis of strong positive business
  • Outlines new methods for financing and equity investment that will jumpstart growth and investment where other initiatives have failed
  • Outlines how clean and sustainable growth is not only at the heart of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, but also how it will make places better, leaving a long-lasting national legacy of which we can be proud

Our vision and model provides a blueprint for a bold ‘New Industrialism’ that can reinvigorate every economy of England and Wales and help to level the disproportionate growth across the UK’s regions.

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