The country would do well to focus on the areas in which it excels – those fields in which it is, or can become, a world leader. Food and drink manufacturing is one of those areas
IOP president Roy Sambles
“In uncertain economic times, and especially as the UK develops a new relationship with the EU, the country would do well to focus on the areas in which it excels – those fields in which it is, or can become, a world leader,” Sambles said.
“Food and drink manufacturing is one of those areas. It is already the single biggest manufacturing sector in the UK and exports have doubled over 10 years.”
Sambles added that physics was playing an increasingly vital role as the food and drink industry becomes more high-tech.
Physics underpins a lot of the processes that are continually driving up the efficiency, quality and quantity of output across the food manufacturing industry, and innovative physics applications are in demand now more so than ever as the sector strains to expand, the IOP said.
But despite this, with the “static level” of R&D funding the UK food manufacturing sector receives, there is a risk of losing out to international competitors, the IOP added.
The Institute’s report therefore recommends the formation of an industrial strategy committee for food manufacturing, which is says should be chaired by “a minister” from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.