The Industrial Strategy Commission is an independent, authoritative inquiry into the development of a new, long-term industrial strategy for the UK. Chaired by leading British economist Dame Kate Barker, the Industrial Strategy Commission is a joint initiative by Policy@Manchester at The University of Manchester and the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI) at the University of Sheffield. The other members are Professor Diane Coyle, Professor Richard Jones, Professor Andy Westwood and Dr Craig Berry.

The Commission was launched in March 2017. Laying the Foundations, a report setting out the Commission’s emerging findings, was published in July 2017.

The Commission’s final report was published in November 2017.

Commission timeline

  • Commission objectives and open call for evidence published – Thursday 2nd February 2017. The objectives are listed below and the full details of the call for evidence are available here.
  • Launch event – The Commission was formally launched on Monday 6th March at the Royal Society in London. Full details of the launch are available here.
  • Evidence submission deadline – Tuesday 2nd May.
  • Laying the Foundations report – the Commission’s first major report was published on July 10th. Read the report.
  • Final Report  – published in November 2017. Read the report.

The objectives of the Commission

Nearly a decade after the global financial crisis, and in the wake of the Brexit vote, it is increasingly recognised by businesses and policymakers that the UK needs new economic thinking and practices, if it is to overcome its problems of stagnant productivity and gross regional disparities in economic performance. After becoming Prime Minister in July 2016 Theresa May established the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and in January 2017 the government published a green paper on industrial strategy.

We welcome the emerging consensus about the central role industrial strategy should play in the UK economy. The Industrial Strategy Commission’s core objective will be to provide evidence-based policy recommendations for a new, long-term industrial strategy for the UK. We seek to outline new ideas and thinking and to understand and address the following key questions:

  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of the UK economy?
  • What are the future challenges and opportunities for an industrial strategy?
  • What is the appropriate role for the state to play?
  • What lessons can be learnt from past UK experience and international comparisons?

Throughout 2017 the Industrial Strategy Commission will address these questions by drawing on evidence submitted to the Commission and by engaging with national policymakers and leading experts, businesses and organisations from a range of sectors and industries. The Commission’s work is structured around four broad research themes: Assessing the UK economy; Future Challenges and Opportunities; The role of the state, and Learning lessons.


If you would like to contact us about our work, please email: or get in touch through Twitter @IndStrategyComm.