The UK is not on track to become a technology superpower by 2030 due to a lack of investment in the country’s industrial infrastructure, which is a significant barrier to the ability of the UK economy to grow, according to new research from independent think tank Demos.
Powering the Superpower, a new report commissioned by SEGRO, a leading owner, manager and developer of prime warehouse and industrial property, argues that policy makers who want the UK to be a technological superpower have ignored the UK’s industrial infrastructure that underpins that aspiration.
The report finds there is too much focus on boosting spending on R&D and not enough focus on the link between the UK’s physical infrastructure, including buildings and facilities, that enable the adoption of new technologies and automation, and provide the space for R&D, manufacturing and a wide range of other industrial uses.
Demos’ research found that over 350,000 businesses, employing 3.8m people and with a turnover of £666bn say that they lack access to the right buildings and facilities for their business to succeed. This has contributed to nearly a third (30%) of businesses saying that they are not confident the UK will be an attractive place to do business in a decade’s time.
Investing in the development of industrial infrastructure could be a win-win for the UK economy, not only helping the UK to become a technological superpower through accelerating the adoption of new technologies but also creating new jobs and investment.