Treasury names experts who will steer high growth strategy

The Treasury has named the five experts who will join Sir Patrick Vallance in his review of EU regulation in high growth sectors, as part of Jeremy Hunt’s plan to “turn Britain into the world’s next Silicon Valley”.

In his November Autumn Statement the chancellor announced that by the end of 2023 the government would “decide and announce” changes to EU regulations in relation to five key industries: digital technology, green industries, life sciences financial services and advanced manufacturing.

Sir Patrick, the government chief scientific adviser and national technology adviser, will review existing legislation and advise on regulatory reform in order to boost growth.

Tech entrepreneurs Priya Lakhani and Matt Clifford will steer work on digital technology. Lakhani is the founder CEO of Century Tech, an artificial intelligence company and a member of the government’s AI Council. Clifford is chair of the new Advanced Research and Invention Agency, an organisation that aims to boost UK research and development.

Immunologist Sir John Bell will focus on boosting growth in the life sciences sector alongside, Camilla Fleetcroft, who is vice-president of clinical and regulatory affairs at Eclevar, a contract research organisation.

Jane Toogood, co-chair of the government’s Hydrogen Advisory Council will lead on green industries.

Hunt said he wanted British companies to lead the world in turning fantastic science into new products and services. “We need to make sure government is doing everything we can to encourage innovation and competition.”

“We have already set out how we will back our formidable financial services sector to unlock private investment in new industries, and we will show the same ambition in other high-growth sectors to ensure that future Silicon Valleys are based here in the UK.”

This sentiment was echoed by business secretary Grant Shapps who said economic growth and increased productivity would be critical to improving living standards across the UK.

“Backed by this fierce new team of advisers, Sir Patrick Vallance will lead the charge alongside industry to supercharge growth in some of the world’s most exciting growing technologies, turning the UK’s natural strengths into pillars for long-term growth,” he said.

The government has already started work on loosening regulation of the financial sector. Earlier this month, it unveiled the so called Edinburgh Reforms, a package intended to repeal and replacing EU laws relating to financial services and relaxing some of the regulations put in place after the 2008 global financial crisis.

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