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Expect industrial strategy to focus on places, not sectors

With support for particular industries fraught with risks, the government will probably target support—including research funding—to poorer regions, says Emran Mian.

The first months of the new prime minister’s government have seen the idea of industrial strategy invoked more often than it has been explained. This is testament to the term’s rhetorical power. 

Already we feel that this government will intervene more than David Cameron’s did. That—despite the previous chancellor George Osborne making plans for a Northern Powerhouse—this government understands more keenly that the UK economy is unbalanced. But the lack of detail around what industrial strategy means in practice is also emblematic of the difficult choices to be made.

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