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Babbage Forum 2023: Forging a New Path in Global Industrial Innovation Policy

Published on January 5th 2024

This year’s Babbage Forum brought together influential global policymakers to discuss the significant effects of recent geopolitical changes on industrial innovation policies. The event provided an exceptional opportunity for mutual learning and progress in industrial innovation policy.

On September 26th, the Babbage Forum convened senior industrial innovation leaders from across the globe to delve into the findings of the recent international Babbage study and the dynamic landscape of national industrial policymaking.

The event in Cambridge was attended by influential individuals from major economies – creators of national industrial strategies, former ministers, and high-ranking civil servants with extensive involvement in industrial policy.

Leaders discussed industrial innovation policies in Asia, China, Europe, and the USA. They explored how major global events since 2020 have influenced their regions’ policies, focusing on issues such as supply chain management, technology access, and improving national capabilities. Delegates had the opportunity to network and discuss policy approaches and policymaking concerns about the stability of the global environment and, more recently, the global pandemic and war in Ukraine.

Providing a platform for cross-border knowledge exchange to improve policymaking, mutual learning, and industrial innovation policy lies at the core approach of the Babbage Forum, as highlighted by Professor Mike Gregory, the founder and Chair of the Babbage Forum:

“Embracing the exchange of insights and experiences from different parts of the world fosters the enrichment of policy-making process. The gathering of notable global leaders in Cambridge was a remarkable showcase of our commitment to mutual learning, propelling us towards the advancement of industrial innovation policy.”

Delegate Rob Atkinson, President of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, praised the Forum as a valuable opportunity for policymakers to learn from each other and gain insights into industrial policy strategies across different countries and contexts:

“Having the correct industrial policy strategy is essential, which is why attending the Babbage Forum is an excellent way to gain insights into other countries’ activities. The Forum is a rare chance for experts involved in industrial policy to come together and learn from different countries and contexts.”

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