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February 1, 2017updated 03 Feb 2017 4:36pm

IBM, Cisco, Accenture lead review into UK digital industry

The Industrial Digitalisation Review is part of the Government’s new Industrial Strategy.

By Ellie Burns

Leaders from some of the biggest tech companies in the UK are coming together to develop a roadmap for digitalising Britain’s industrial base. Announced as part of the Government’s new Industrial Strategy on the 23rd of January, the Industrial Digitalisation Review will assess how the UK can benefit from the accelerated adoption of digital technology across advanced manufacturing.

Chaired by Siemens UK and Ireland CEO, by Juergen Maier, representivies from business will be joined by Nick Hurd MP, Minister of State at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy who alongside the Secretary of State Greg Clarke will receive the outputs of the review.

Those on the Industrial Digitalisation Review leadership team include:

Sir Charlie Mayfield, Chairman, John Lewis
Phil Smith, Chairman, Cisco UK & Ireland,
Carolyn Fairbairn, Director General, CBI
David Stokes, CEO UK & Ireland, IBM,
Oliver Benzecry, CEO of Accenture UK
Roger Connor, Head of Global Manufacturing, GSK
Nigel Stein, CEO GKN

Those involved in the review will engage with large and small businesses alongside academics to see how the design, development and deployment of digital technologies can drive increased national productivity. Boosting skills and the number of jobs, promoting competition, facilitating long-term investment, increasing exports and commercializing research are all key challenges expected to be tackled by the review team.

“Our review is about defining how the UK can best adopt radical new technologies that will boost productivity and create new high tech jobs across manufacturing and industry. We want the end result to be a sector deal for manufacturing that makes a real difference to companies regardless of their size or market,” said Juergen Maier, CEO of Siemens UK and Ireland.

“It is not yet too late for the UK to take the global lead in this space, but we are in danger of falling behind if we do not take up the challenge now – so our aim is position UK manufacturing and industry at the heart of a new global industrial revolution much like it was over 170 years ago when we first started doing business here.”

UK digital review

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The leadership team will also identify industrial sectors with the maximum opportunity to benefit from the adoption of industrial digitalisation technologies, looking at global best practice.  They will also identify the digital technologies with the highest likelihood of being able to create new industries and new jobs. These include artificial intelligence, robotics, augmented reality solutions, automation technology, robotics, blockchain and data analytics.

Phil Smith, Chairman of Cisco UK & Ireland said: “Business is backing this review with enthusiasm because we are all passionate about supporting UK industry through an immense period of change, both politically and technologically. If we can shape a sector deal that helps the UK compete with world leaders in this space, notably Germany and the US, the jobs payoff could be substantial. At the forefront of our minds are the new tech jobs for Britain underpinned by the new technologies driving changes in the labour market.”

The completion of the review will result in a blueprint for a ‘Sector Deal’ for manufacturing and industrial sectors, which could see government and business partners increase the take up of new technologies in the UK.

Climate Change and Industry Minister Nick Hurd MP said:  “The launch of the Industrial Strategy Green Paper shows our commitment to improving growth and driving productivity across the whole country. Industry is best placed to identify what firms really need and we want them to come to us with proposals to transform and upgrade their sector. The independent Industrial Digitalisation Review will set out how the UK can maximize the use of digital technology to increase productivity, and create the high-skilled jobs we need for a successful, modern economy.”

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