The Industrial Strategy – two years on…

Promotional Business Feature. Pictured: Dr Deborah Spencer

The Industrial Strategy launched two years ago on 27th November 2017, with the ambition for the UK to aim high and lead the world in innovation across four Grand Challenge themes.

I have been in post as the University of Oxford Lead for the Industrial Strategy since July 2018. My primary focus has been on the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, to promote it internally to the University’s academic audiences, and externally to our industry partners; providing an overview of exactly what the Industrial Strategy is and why it has come into play.

My role includes engagement with Government and funding agencies to influence and to gather intelligence on different aspects of the Industrial Strategy. This helps best prepare us for future applications. Recent political turmoil meant that momentum around funding opportunities and awards slowed a little in early 2019, however, things are now changing.

There are many more calls live that can benefit a wide range of industry sectors. To access the list of open calls, you can visit our Industrial Strategy website: partnerships/industrial-strategy.

“Engaging with the business community has been a critical part of our recipe to support the Industrial Strategy, so during 2019 we launched a series of “Science Park Roadshows.”

The roadshows allowed us to meet with regional businesses to amplify messaging around the industrial strategy in terms of its focus, available funding opportunities and readiness of the University to partner with local businesses (in joint research, consultancy and more). SME’s can benefit from connecting with the University of Oxford to form consortiums and to learn how to engage with the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. One such example is the National Consortium of Intelligent Medical Imaging (NCIMI) that includes 12 companies, 1 multinational and 11 SME’s. NCIMI is funded by the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to drive innovation in the use of artificial intelligence for improved diagnosis of a variety of diseases.

To find out more about this successful consortium, you can read more by visiting the website:

Partnering with the University

At the University of Oxford, we work in partnership with many organisations finding better answers to the real challenges of today and tomorrow. We have dedicated teams in place to help build relationships and facilitate collaboration across the full breadth of academic disciplines and business sectors. For problems falling within the themes of the Industrial Strategy, by working with the University, you can gain access to not only world-class expertise from academics but the opportunity to leverage UK Government’s funding support and our team’s wider connections to other academic groups and industry partners across the UK and internationally.

If you are interested in discussing a potential collaboration with the University of Oxford or for any information relating to this article please contact me, Dr Deborah Spencer MBA.

Dr Deborah Spencer MBA – University Lead, UK Industrial Strategy. Industrial Research Partnerships team, Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division, University of Oxford