Foresight will investigate future of UK’s manufacturing to 2050

A Foresight project investigating the future of manufacturing up to 2050 has been launched by business secretary Vince Cable.

According to a statement, the two-year project will call on industry and academic expertise from the UK and abroad to look at the long-term picture for the manufacturing sector, investigating global trends and drivers of change.

It will examine how the UK can maximise these opportunities and provide an evidence base to help policymakers navigate a challenging and uncertain future.

It is being led by the Foresight team in the Government Office for Science under the direction of the government’s chief scientific adviser, Prof Sir John Beddington, and is sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. The findings will inform government policy throughout the duration of the project and beyond.

Prof Sir John Beddington said: ‘It is essential to develop a better understanding of how key trends relating to manufacturing might develop, particularly those related to technology and globalisation.

‘This work will help the UK position itself to maximise opportunities in manufacturing, mitigate risks and deal effectively with future uncertainties.’

The project will have a High Level Stakeholder Group — chaired by Vince Cable — to advise on its strategic direction and impact, and will include senior individuals within the public and private sectors.

The project will also incorporate a Lead Expert Group of academic and private sector experts from different disciplines.

Working alongside the Foresight team it will help guide the project and secure an evidence base that can be used by policymakers to inform future decisions. Members will be announced early in 2012.