Thursday 02 March 2017, Wilton, UK. Process Industry representatives today (02 March) met with Lord Prior of Brampton to discuss UK Industrial Strategy.
Lord Prior, who was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in December 2016, toured the SABIC Cracker and visited Applied Graphene before joining a multi-company discussion.
Hosted by SABIC UK Petrochemicals and facilitated by the North East Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC), the region’s chemical, polymer, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies discussed their needs and concerns relating to Government’s green paper, ‘Building our Industrial Strategy’.
Government has outlined 10 key pillars of focus to be discussed as part of a 12-week consultation, inviting contributions from industry, businesses, community groups and workers across the North East and the rest of the UK.
Today’s discussions with industry representatives focused upon the importance of support for technology implementation to enable more rapid deployment from our universities – including process intensification and lab on a chip projects.
Energy costs and the opportunities that could arise from private wire networks, along with the future of Industrial Carbon Capture & Storage and CO2 utilisation were also examined.
Representatives also highlighted the importance of thinking now about future feedstocks for the industry, including Clean Coal, as well as the uncertainty over future tariffs arising from BREXIT.
NEPIC Chief Executive, Dr. Stan Higgins, summarised Lord Prior’s comments:
“Lord Prior was very appreciative of the energy he had witnessed from the sector today. He reassured the group that Government is far more open minded about its role in support of industry and expressed his hope that, through an Industrial Strategy, the country’s productivity could be improved and economic wealth could spread.
“Furthermore, Lord Prior stated that Government is looking to further incentivise R&D, improve life-long learning in the skills agenda and recognise the importance of place in the industrial landscape.”
“NEPIC has agreed several follow up topics with the participating companies that we will take forward on industry’s behalf.”
Participating companies included the Centre for Process Innovation, Tees Valley Combined Authority, Sembcorp – Wilton International, Fine Industries, Lotte Chemical UK, Arcinova, Fujifilm Diosynth, PD Ports, CF Fertilizers, Thomas Swan, Huntsman, Calysta, Victrex, BOC-Linde, Chemoxy International, Ineos and Johnson Matthey.
The visit was part of a country-wide engagement tour to find out directly from business how the Industrial Strategy can support diversity and inclusion in the workplace.