The world is changing faster than ever. New technology is creating new industries, changing existing ones and transforming the way things are made. We need a more agile approach to regulation, that supports innovation while protecting citizens and the environment.
We are a nation of innovators. Throughout our history we have seized the opportunities to create a better future for ourselves. In the First Industrial Revolution, British engineer Thomas Savery’s pump paved the way for industrial use of steam power. In the second, British scientist Michael Faraday’s electromagnetic rotary devices formed the basis for practical electricity use. In the third, British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee invented the world wide web.
Technological breakthroughs in areas from artificial intelligence to biotechnologies are now heralding a Fourth Industrial Revolution, with the power to reshape almost every sector in every country. Our Industrial Strategy positions the UK to make the most of this global transformation.
Our regulatory system is second to none, as recognised by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Regulatory Policy Outlook in 2018. It protects citizens and enables business to thrive. Together with our global research prowess, world-class universities and open, competitive markets, it attracts firms to innovate and invest in the UK. As the Fourth Industrial Revolution changes the way we live and work, it is vital that our regulatory system keeps pace.
This white paper sets out our plan to maintain our world-leading regulatory system in this period of rapid technological change. We will support and stimulate new products, services and business models, with greater space for experimentation. We will uphold safeguards for people and the environment and engage the public in how innovation is regulated. And we will maintain the stable, proportionate regulatory approach the UK is rightly known for.
Our openness to technology and innovation continues as we leave the European Union.
This white paper is our plan to secure our success.
Rt Hon Greg Clark MP
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy