Policy news

18 March 2013
IET Communications team
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Houses of Parliament

The latest on how IET volunteers and staff are working with government.  

Recent work from the IET’s policy volunteers and staff includes successful events on innovation and integrated transport, and the provision of advice to government and parliamentary committees on a diverse range of topics. You can find out more below, and also via the Policy section of the IET website.


Catapult event

The IET’s Innovation Policy Panel recently hosted an event at the House of Lords to launch a report on technology and innovation centres (known as ‘catapults’). Also involved in putting on the event were the Big Innovation Centre, the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), and the Economic and Social Research Council.

Iain Gray from the TSB spoke, and the attendees included Stephen McPartland MP and John Denham MP.


Integrated transport meeting

The IET recently held a roundtable meeting at the Houses of Parliament to discuss integrated transport. The meeting was chaired by Iain Stewart MP, who is a member of the Transport Select Committee. Lillian Greenwood MP, Andrew Miller MP, Kelvin Hopkins MP, and Bob Ainsworth MP were all in attendance.

The well-received event generated a number of opportunities for the IET to pursue, including a request for a private briefing on transport for the Labour Party's transport team, and a request for a joint Science and Technology Select Committee / Transport Select Committee briefing on technology in transport.


Assessing electricity capacity

The IET has been invited to talks with Ofgem, National Grid and the Department of Energy and Climate Change to consider the future methodology for assessing electricity generating capacity. This resulted from an IET consultation response to Ofgem, aspects of which have already been taken on board.


Fostering growth in Northern Ireland

The IET’s position paper on fostering high tech growth through public procurement has been recommended to the Northern Ireland Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) by a Northern Ireland Assembly committee.

The Assembly’s Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment said the position paper was an exemplar of why and how to use public procurement to help rebalance the economy towards manufacturing. In a memorandum to the Committee, DETI asserted that the paper would be of importance in their Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) proposals.


Providing expertise

Scotland’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education Committee recently wrote to the IET asking for input into identifying worthy professional learning communities in Scotland. The response, which emphasised the need in every successful case for an inspirational leader with a selfless leadership style, was approved by Derek Elder, chairman of the IET’s Engineering Policy Group Scotland.

Professor Jonathan Wallace, chairman of the Engineering Policy Group Northern Ireland, approved an IET response to a consultation on the suitability of GCSE and GCE qualifications for Northern Ireland. The response drew attention to the fact that the current qualifications too often do not prepare students with the requisite skills for work, or knowledge for further / higher education.

And finally, Dr Simon Harrison from the Energy Policy Panel recently approved IET responses to consultations on a low carbon networks fund and electricity demand reduction. The Energy Policy Panel also prepared written evidence on gas generation strategy for the UK Parliament’s Energy and Climate Change Select Committee, and as a result the IET was also invited to present oral evidence.

You can find out more about consultations in progress, and past submissions, on the IET website.