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Industrial Policy for Mundane Sectors

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The University of Manchester

Sackville Street

Manchester

M1 3WE

United Kingdom

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Industrial policy for mundane sectors

A workshop at the University of Manchester, 21st September 2017

Venue: Sackville Street Building, North Campus (close to Piccadilly Rail Station)

Government-led industrial policy has focused on advanced technologies and next generation industries. While headline-grabbing, these industries employ relatively few people and are also targeted by governments in many other countries. At the same time, large parts of the economy consist of the production of mundane but essential goods and services such as food, textiles, furniture and construction, which are significant local employers. Although these sectors are typically ignored in official industrial policy discussions and statements, there are interesting and important activities experiments being developed by policy entrepreneurs and industry shapers on the ground.

This workshop will focus explicitly on mundane sectors and the potential for a more imaginative form of industrial policy. The question is not simply how can UK government industrial policy be refocused to more effectively support such activities but how are entrepreneurs of all kinds already shaping these sectors through various individual and collaborative initiatives. How can such initiatives be supported and scaled up as part of a new style industrial policy? It will bring together people from the business, policy, academic and third sector communities to explore challenges and responses. The half day workshop includes sessions on food and on textiles, with a panel that brings together speakers with experience of operating and experimenting in mundane sectors.

The workshop also marks the formal launch of a University of Manchester report Capability and Precarity in UK Textiles and Apparel, which explicitly considered the implications for developing industrial strategy outside the high tech and glamourous areas.

The report and this workshop are sponsored by the British Cotton Growers Association.

Draft programme

12.00-1.00 Lunch

1.00 – 2.30 Session 1 Textiles

Capabilities and ecology in UK textiles and apparel – Froud, Hayes, Wei and Williams, University of Manchester

New ventures and experiments in UK textiles – tbc

2.30-2.45 Tea

2.45-4.00 Session 2 Food

Operating in a mundane industry - Steve Francis, CEO Tulip Ltd

A revolution in food - Prof Keven Morgan, University of Cardiff

4.00-5.00 Panel: Industrial policy – new ideas and experiments (tbc)

5.00-6.00 Drinks and discussion

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The University of Manchester

Sackville Street

Manchester

M1 3WE

United Kingdom

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