Influencing government

9 November 2012
IET Communications team
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Stephanie Fernandes, Andy Hopper and Vince Cable at the IET

The IET's Stephanie Fernandes and Professor Andy Hopper welcome Dr Vince Cable to a recent event.  

An update on the work of the IET’s policy staff and volunteers.

Recent highlights from the IET’s policy staff and volunteers include a successful event on innovation and technology centres, meetings with a number of UK Government representatives and giving expert advice to the House of Lords.


Innovation and technology centres

The secretary of state for Business, Innovation and Skills, Dr Vince Cable, attended the IET’s recent discussion on what success will look like for innovation and technology centres.

Held at IET London: Savoy Place and organised by IET principal policy advisor Stephanie Fernandes, the successful event also featured journalist Will Hutton alongside senior representatives from major European innovation and technology centres, plus UK business and academic leaders.

The event has helped to shape the work of establishing the centres in the UK by providing an opportunity for international exchange on identifying, measuring and benchmarking success and good performance.  

Dr Cable said that the UK could transform its capacity for innovation by following the example of countries such as Germany, the USA, Taiwan and South Korea, which all have a network of these centres.

“Much of the inspiration behind what we’re doing has come from looking at this internationally, at international best practice and how best the UK can compete,” Dr Cable said. “We are an open country – open to foreign investment, open to foreign ideas, and I think that is one of the great strengths of this country.”


Meetings with government

A number of UK Government representatives have attended IET Policy Panel meetings recently to engage with the work of the policy volunteers.

Helen Mainstone from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, attended a meeting of the Manufacturing Policy Panel, to discuss industrial strategy.

The Transport Policy panel welcomed Professor Rod Smith, chief scientific advisor at the Department for Transport (DfT), to one of their meetings. Professor Smith gave an overview of the policy priorities of the DfT and subject areas the Panel could work on in the future.

Finally, the Communications Policy Panel met with Simon Towler and Robert Sullivan from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to discuss the priorities of new Minister Maria Miller MP, and also with Professor H Nwana from the Ofcom Spectrum Policy Group regarding the challenges around regulation.


Providing expertise

The IET led the Engineering the Future submission of evidence to the ‘SME Exports’ inquiry by the House of Lords SME Committee. The submission was approved by IET volunteer Professor Stephen Evans, chairman of the Manufacturing Policy Panel.  

The submission to the ‘EU Energy: Decarbonisation and Competitiveness’ inquiry by the House of Lords EU Sub Committee was approved by IET volunteer Dr Simon Harrison, chairman of Energy Policy Panel, answering six key questions posed by the Committee.


More information

For more information on the work of the IET’s policy staff and volunteers, please visit www.theiet.org/policy.