The Academy welcomes the move towards a modern industrial strategy and the announcement on rail and road infrastructure investment in the Autumn Statement from Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt Hon George Osborne MP.

The Academy and its President, Sir John Parker GBE FREng, have been championing a new industrial strategy: a framework within which government can create the right climate for growth. The UK is a technocratic nation with world-class engineering and science capability, which can help to rebalance the UK economy so therefore the news of support for engineering research programmes is also very welcome.

Sir John Parker GBE FREng, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, says:

“The Chancellor’s move towards a modern industrial strategy is much needed and most welcome – we need to make the most economic capital from our world-class engineering and science capability. The support announced today for engineering research programmes is welcome progress in the right direction. If government can help great ideas to progress from lab to market by creating a business investment-friendly environment then companies – and their supply chains – will have the confidence and incentives to invest in creating world-leading products and services.

“Investment in our infrastructure is also essential to keep Britain moving and will be central to supporting growth in the economy. The announcements on road and rail projects are very welcome and the Academy agrees that spending on such projects will generate returns over the long term. However, it is important that these decisions are taken in a systematic way, considering the interdependencies between infrastructure sectors when making spending decisions.In this way, greatest value for money and value to the economy can be achieved.

“The engineering profession is today releasing the first part of an ‘infrastructure timelines’ project which sets out the infrastructure needs of the UK up to 2050. We trust this will assist the government in identifying the areas where investment is urgently needed and where pinch points occur.”

Notes for editors

  1. Founded in 1976, the Royal Academy of Engineering promotes engineering and the technological welfare of the country. Our fellowship – comprising the UK’s most eminent engineers – provides the leadership and expertise for our activities, which focus on the relationships between engineering, technology, and the quality of life. As a national academy, we provide independent and impartial advice to government; work to secure the next generation of engineers; and provide a voice for Britain’s engineering community.

For more information please contact

Sarah Griffiths at The Royal Academy of Engineering Tel. 020 7766 0655