We are on the brink of a new industrial revolution. Let me first declare an interest. Two interests in fact.
Newcastle was at the leading edge of the first, carbon based industrial revolution and so naturally has a great interest in a industrial resurgence.
Secondly, as an engineer myself, I do wish to see a resurgence of manufacturing and industry.
But I do not think it is my interests which mislead me. There are five global challenges which require new industrial responses:
- Population and economic growth across the world is stoking demand
- The Global Financial Crisis makes it so important we grow other sectors
- Climate change is making many of our ways of building and manufacturing things inefficient;
- In the western world populations are aging, this is a good thing. It is good people are living longer. But it changes the demand for goods – more automotive goods for example
- Globalisation means global markets and global industries.