Insights

Thursday, 24th November 2016
  • Chris Fry (Managing Director)

2016 Autumn Statement: UK’s clean technology expertise can support the Industrial Strategy

Press release – 23rd November 2016

2016 Autumn Statement: UK’s clean technology expertise can support the Industrial Strategy and National Productivity Investment Fund – Chris Fry, Managing Director of consultancy Temple Group

“The UK’s expertise in clean technologies has fantastic potential to provide a ‘cleantech premium’ as part of the new Industrial Strategy and National Productivity Investment Fund.

The real beauty of cleantech is its relevance to the other sectors of the UK economy. Cleantech brings added potential to some of the distinctive opportunities associated with regional economies such as energy industries in the Northern Powerhouse and the advanced engineering capabilities of the Midlands Engine. There are so many examples of this cleantech premium, where these products are already gaining a competitive edge in their markets. For example, vehicle and engine manufacturers that are achieving lower emissions, more energy-efficient manufacturing processes and new lightweight materials for buildings and infrastructure.

I am using the term cleantech here but you could equally talk about environmental innovation or the circular economy. Cleantech products are generally pretty cool – and consumers, communities and investors are attracted to these kinds of innovations as they characterise responsible economic progress. The important thing is that cleantech does not get dismissed in misunderstandings about green/low carbon being uncommercial or a niche concern.

We do not get everything right in the UK but we do have strong creative and scientific industries, including a large number of diverse SMEs (Small and Medium Sized Enterprises). And we are very used to managing with relatively scarce financial, land and natural resources, with industries operating in close proximity to people. So we have the experience of making things work that can also help to give our cleantech exports a practical quality.

Some of the biggest opportunities at the global scale in the coming decades will be driven by trends in robotics, digitalisation and also how societies and industries adapt to climate change. These trends come together in driving some of the potentially more disruptive cleantech ideas such as smart personal air pollution sensors and new uses of earth observation data from space.  But as with many things, some of the best cleantech innovations are the simplest ones such as effective flood barriers that can be installed very quickly in a crisis to protect communities home or abroad.”

Notes to editors:

Temple is one of the UK’s leading independent infrastructure and property consultancies, specialising in environment, planning and sustainability. We have a proven track record in both undertaking Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) and reviewing Environmental Statements (ES). We provide a range of specialist acoustics and air quality services; these cover all stages of the project life cycle, from initial desktop studies to expert witness support at a public inquiry. Our services are being deployed on high profile schemes such as Crossrail, HS2, Barking Riverside regeneration and on numerous smaller projects. To find out more about Temple, see www.templegroup.co.uk.