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Blog post 21 June 2021   Key words:  Climate change, policy dashboard

Climate Policy Dashboard.  How do you hold politicians accountable for successful implementation of policy decisions?  In a radical move, the All-Party Parliamentary Climate Change Group (APPCCG) launched an innovative Climate Policy Dashboard to track the Government’s progress in key sectors of the economy against policy recommendations by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), the UK's independent advisor on tackling climate change.  The UK has made significant progress in reducing emissions over the last decade, and has led major economies in announcing new legally binding climate targets for 2030 and 2050. However, the UK is not on track to meet future carbon budgets or net-zero targets. The Dashboard focuses on the progress made by the UK Government, although it does highlight areas where the devolved administrations have separate responsibilities for policy areas. Progress in each sector is ranked on a gradient from Critically Insufficient through to World-Leading, and key steps on the road to World-Leading policy are presented. The Climate Policy Dashboard provides the progress rankings for each sector of the economy that the APPCCG is monitoring policy development in. Only in the Power Sector is the UK's policy development ranked as Good. In four sectors (manufacturing, agriculture, buildings and waste), policy development is Insufficient, with the greatest room for improvement in buildings and waste.   Let’s see more of this for other significant policy areas.


Blog post 21 June 2021   Key words:  Climate change, policy dashboard

Review of Catapult Network.  Launched without fanfare in April, BEIS released a new report on the performance of the Catapults since their launch in 2011 based on recommendations from the Hauser review.  This follows on from the interim review in 2014 by Dr Herman Hauser, ‘too soon for evidence of long-term impact’, and the highly critical review by E&Y in 2017 ‘implementation of the Catapult concept has been inconsistent and could have had a significantly greater impact in delivering innovation, economic benefits and value for money’.  This latest report is much more nuanced but reading between the lines it does not appear to show much improvement in implementing the recommendations of the E&Y report.  Indeed there are some worrying questions contained in the eight recommendations which suggest the Catapult network is still not delivering its full potential and several of the recommendations asking for yet more reviews: 1. ‘Catapults should focus on the core objectives established in 2010’;    2. ‘As part of the forthcoming Innovation Strategy, BEIS should work with UKRI and partners to consider the strengths and weaknesses of the UK’s innovation ecosystem as a whole, and how we make the most of Catapults as a critical part of that.’;   3. ‘incorporate independent review panels into the funding renewal process for 2023’;  4.  ‘BEIS and Innovate UK will work towards agreeing bespoke KPIs with the Catapults’; 5. ‘Catapults should each review whether their engagement with universities is benefitting their sector or technology and meeting their original purpose to bridge the gap between research and industry’;  6. ‘need to develop a code of practice that provides greater transparency over how Catapults make decisions on competing for commercial work and collaborative R&D’. While some of the Catapults (especially the older ones) are evidently making a useful contribution, it is clear that much more potential exists and BEIS leadership need to get a grip on this resource and accelerate the implementation of the recommendations in this and the E&Y reports, else we will be writing the same piece in 2024!  There might be some interesting insights to be gained from the work of Eoin O'Sullivan, director of the Institute for Manufacturing’s Centre for Science, Technology & Innovation Policy (CSTI).  In a recent interview about ARIA, Eoin said, “The key thing is that the management, governance and leadership really matters“   



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