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. It will publish its Key Findings in July 2017 with a final report published in September 2017.

Commission objectives

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?

Over six months the Commission will address these questions by drawing on submitted evidence and by engaging with national policymakers and leading experts, businesses and organisations from a range of sectors and industries. An open call for evidence has been published. The Commission invites all interested parties to share relevant information, ideas and comments that address our four research themes: Assessing the UK economy; Future Challenges and Opportunities; The role of the state, and Learning lessons.

Commission timeline

  • Open call for evidence published – Thursday 2nd February. Full details 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.
  • Key Findings report – to be published in July.
  • Final report  – to be published in September.


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