We are faced with damage to fragile habitats and biodiversity, aging populations, increasing global inequalities and, of course, climate change driven by greenhouse gas emissions. Also, how do we respond to UK industrial decline and regional inequalities? How do we retain access to the things that we need during pandemics or supply chain disruptions? How do we make sure that the next generation enjoys a healthier, more prosperous future?
The answers lie, in part, in innovation, and the manufacturing community has a key role to play.
Working alongside business and government, we are helping to develop and scale-up the new green technologies and processes needed to reach net zero greenhouse emissions by 2050 and avert climate disaster. We are supporting manufacturers to make the green products of the future with clean energy and sustainable materials that will not leave a scar on landscapes We are stripping environmental impact from both industry and households and showing how businesses up and down the land can use all resources more wisely and how best to handle products at the end of their life.
The opportunity for the UK is huge. By developing UK-based supply chains, we can bring highly skilled work back into the places that need it. By taking a lead in the development of environmentally friendly products, processes and technologies, we can grow UK markets while offering global solutions. By building on industrial clusters around centres of innovation, we can inject new energy into landscapes blighted by past industrial decline, supporting that energy with action to build the skills needed to harness new technologies effectively.
The transformation we have led around the former Orgreave site in Rotherham is an excellent example of how long-term investment can have real impact. Where the colliery and coking works once dominated the landscape, there are now over 100 thriving companies employing 2,000 highly skilled workers.
Transition to a new, more sustainable global economy will not be easy. In this report you will see that we are working on many global and national challenges, using innovation to provide important answers.