The Industry Forum Ltd, 20 St Andrew Street, EC4A 3AG, London
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The Industry Forum Ltd, 20 St Andrew Street, EC4A 3AG, London

Darren Jones MP, new Chair of the cross-party UK Business Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee led a wide-ranging Industry Forum discussion on ‘ A successful business recovery strategy for the UK’.

The meeting was hosted online by leading law firm, Pinsent Masons, who were represented by Yvonne Dunn, the partner who leads the Pinsent Masons financial services technology practice.

The key challenges discussed included: recovery from the economic and employment damage from the pandemic, adjusting to a new relationship with the EU, and the urgent need to transition to renewable energy. Despite enormous efforts we could not solve all these problems in an hour and thus the Industry Forum will be organising many more discussions in the months ahead.

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The Industry Forum was delighted that Rosemary Gallant, Minister Counselor for Commercial Affairs at the US London Embassy could lead our online roundtable on future US/UK trade prospects. She outlined the US objectives and progress to date in the current trade talks.

The meeting was hosted online by KPMG UK who were represented by Bina Mehta a partner who leads the Business Services sector team and chairs KPMG's Emerging Giants practice in the UK. It was attended by Industry Forum members and guests.

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Powerful messages emerged from a June Industry Forum online roundtable discussing ‘Achieving a strong and agile economic recovery’.

Shadow Digital, Science and Technology Minister Chi Onwura MP, a qualified engineer with wide industry and regulatory experience, kicked off the meeting which was hosted online by the Mineral Products Association (MPA). She was followed by Andrew Smith, Chief Economic Adviser to the Industry Forum; Robert McIlveen, Director of Public Affairs for MPA and Aurelie Delannoy, Chief Economist for MPA; and Vicky Pryce, Chief Economic adviser to leading business and economics consultancy CEBR.

Key messages were:

· Support for R&D spending and investment in the digital and physical infrastructures, as well as the green transition, are all high priorities.

· Further government financial support for distressed businesses would cost less than the otherwise inevitable wave of insolvencies and redundancies.

· The impact of a no-deal Brexit would be large and would seriously impede the recovery progress.

· Austerity won’t work: a concrete and fully financed recovery plan needs to be produced and implemented in cooperation with industries, regions, cities, and local authorities.


Chi Onwurah MP, Shadow Minister Digital, Science & Technology

Andrew Smith, Industry Forum

Robert McIlveen, Mineral Products

Vicky Pryce, Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR)

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It’s not just children who are home schooling and learning new lessons in this pandemic! Many of us, locked down in our homes, are learning to take nothing for granted. Already we know that there will be no V-shaped recovery and that yesterday's threatening digital technologies are now saving lives by enabling (some of us) to work together safely, productively, and remotely.
Working online with leading law firm Pinsent Masons, the Industry Forum meeting this week addressed the highly topical subject of ‘Incentivising Innovation in Life Sciences'. Daniel Zeichner MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Life Sciences kicked off the meeting and David Rosenberg, retired GSK Vice-President for Intellectual Property policy responded. The meeting was moderated by Nicole Jadeja, a life sciences partner in Pinsent Masons.
With representatives of many leading leading life sciences companies participating, ideas on improving IP laws were discussed as well as hopes for coordinated international actions to prepare better for future health emergencies. In Q&A the need for different funding and pricing models for different diseases and markets was discussed. The Industry Forum is researching this area for future meetings and would welcome industry input.

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Rachel Reeves MP, Chair of the powerful Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee, delivered the closing keynote address at the ‘Road to Zero’ conference held in the German Embassy. Leading industry players from the UK and Germany and Baroness Brown, Deputy Chair of the Climate Change Committee, also spoke to the capacity audience. A sea change in business opinion was evident as speaker after speaker acknowledged the scale and urgency of the green house gas emissions problem. The consensus was that the surface transport industry is robustly preparing for the wrenching changes needed. Greater cooperation, policy consistency, and investment from governments are now essential. For the UK the first request to government was for more charging infrastructure and policies that will give consumers confidence to buy electric vehicles. The conference was organised by the Industry Forum working closely with a German Embassy team.

Speakers included:

Baroness Brown of Cambridge, Deputy Chair of the Climate Change Committee (CCC)
Rachel Reeves MP, Chair of BEIS Select Committee

Konstanze Scharring, Director of Policy, SMMT
Mike Muldoon, Head of Business Development, Alstom
Chris Lockett, Technology Vice President, BP Plc
Karen Renshaw, Senior Associate for Public Policy, Uber

Christian Hochfeld, Berlin think-tank Agora Verkehrswende

Phil Killingley, Deputy Head, Office for Low Emission Vehicles, Department for Transport
Vera Scholz, Head of Climate Change, Environment and Infrastructure Division, Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
Peter Abson, Public Affairs & Policy Senior Manager, National Grid
Ian Constance, CEO, Advanced Propulsion Centre

Co-hosted by the German Embassy

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A stimulating first Industry Forum meeting of 2020 addressed the impossibly broad agenda of Prospects and Challenges for 2020 at FleishmanHillard this week. Andrew Smith, Economist, led on the UK economic outlook  and steps to an EU trade deal, followed by Bim Ofolami MP on possibilities for transformation of the UK’s trade and industry. Matt Houlihan gave a perspective on Brexit and trade prospects from CISCO the networking giant, and Dr Alan Whitehead MP focussed attention on the big issue of the decade, possibly the century, the climate emergency.

Speakers included:

Economic outlook – Andrew Smith, Chief Economic Adviser, Industry Forum

How UK trade and industry could be transformed – Bim Afolami MP

Brexit and business - Matt Houlihan - Director, Government Affairs, Cisco

Climate emergency – Dr Alan Whitehead MP, Shadow Energy and Climate Change Minister

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