What are Local Industrial Strategies?

Local Enterprise Partnerships have been tasked with developing Local Industrial Strategies to help create more prosperous communities and tackle the vast regional and local disparities that exist across the UK. A Local Industrial Strategy (LIS) should bring together a strong, well-informed evidence base about an area’s economy and outline a long-term set of priorities that capitalise on existing opportunities in the economy, address weaknesses and resolve an area’s needs.

Here in Hertfordshire, a lot of the groundwork has been done already thanks to our Strategic Economic Plan. Now we must gather evidence in relation to the Grand Challenges and what the consequences are for future productivity and performance. The four Grand Challenges are:

AI and Data Economy: putting the UK at the forefront of the artificial intelligence data revolution;
Clean Energy: maximising the advantages for UK industry from the global shift to clean growth;
Future of Mobility: becoming a world leader in the way people, goods and services move;
Ageing Society: harnessing the power of innovation to help meet the needs of an ageing society.

Our approach
At our Annual Conference on 29 March we set out out approach, Grand Challenges for Hertfordshire, which has been endorsed by Business Minster Richard Harrington. We also launched our Grand Challenge Commission, led by former LEP Board Member John Gourd, which over the coming months will build up a robust evidence base.

Next Steps
A series of conversations are now taking place with our key sector industries, research institutions and academia. We will then host a series of industry-led debates to gather evidence in relation to the wider consequences for future productivity and performance. This robust business-led approach will help us to develop a Local Industrial Strategy to be agreed with Government. Throughout the process we will be keeping you informed on our progress. 

Meet our Grand Challenge champions and panellists 

AI and Big Data champion: Paul Clarke, Chief Technology Officer, Ocado

Paul joined Ocado in 2006. After establishing new teams for simulation and mobile development, he co-wrote the first of Ocado’s award-winning mobile apps. In his current role, Paul heads up Ocado Technology, whose 950+ software engineers and other IT specialists are responsible for building the software and IT infrastructure that powers Ocado and also Morrisons’ online grocery business. He has worked in software engineering, consultancy, interim management and a number of software start-ups.

Paul recently submitted written evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee report into AI,  regarding the inflexibility of the apprenticeship levy with regards to the AI development sector. Read the full report: AI in the UK: Ready, willing and able.

Inside Ocado's Distribution Warehouse
Take a tour of the automated world of online grocery shopping at Ocado’s distribution warehouse in Hatfield.

Future of Mobility champion: Daniel Hobbs, Regional Director, AECOM

 Daniel Hobbs

Daniel is leading the development of the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) business in the South East and supporting key technical areas across the UK and globally. AECOM is a global network of design, engineering, construction and management professionals partnering with clients to imagine and deliver a better world. Key AECOM projects include Crossrail London, Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games and Los Angeles International Airport. 

Ageing Society panellist: Dr Stephen Ward PhD, Chief Operating Officer, Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult

Since being appointed the first Chief Operating Officer of the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult in January 2013, Stephen has established the world-class industrialisation capabilities of the facility at Guy’s Hospital in London, and designed and built the innovative manufacturing centre in Stevenage. He brings over 20 years of experience in biological medicine research, development, and manufacturing to the organisation. Stephen is passionate about delivering cutting edge technologies to patients through the development of commercially viable products, and about securing and growing the cell and gene therapy manufacturing and development supply chain.

In addition to seeking the views and expert opinions of our key sector organisations, we are working in partnership with public stakeholders, including the University of Hertfordshire, Royal Veterinary College, Hertfordshire County Council, the NHS, local authorities, housing associations and education providers to ensure that our Industrial Strategy will be robust and strongly future facing. 

Have your say
Take part in our Grand Challenge and Life Sciences survey