Chris McDonald, the Chief Executive of the Teesside-based Materials Processing Institute, has welcomed the government’s announcement on a post-Brexit subsidy control system – designed to stimulate innovation and research and development.

He said the new arrangement, which will replace the previous EU state aid regime, presents an opportunity to increase the UK’s historically low levels of subsidy.

The announcement by Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng emphasised that the system would allow the UK to be more dynamic in its support of start-ups, businesses, and new industries.

Chris McDonald said: “The UK’s future lies in nurturing innovative, research and development-focused industries so Kwasi Kwarteng’s consultation on state aid is welcome as the country seeks to forge a lead in the fourth industrial revolution.

“In the past, well-targeted government interventions at the right time have proven essential to help grow valuable national industries or provide support through a short-term issue, but Britain can do more and do it better.

“Therefore, I look forward to a new system focused on new high growth sectors which could have real benefits for Teesside and the North East as part of a positive new industrial strategy.”

“The government now has a real opportunity to create a subsidy system that will deliver the strong support that is necessary to address major issues such as regional inequality, climate change and supporting the economic recovery.”

In 2017 the UK government spent 0.4 percent of GDP on state aid, compared to an average of 0.7 percent across the EU and a maximum of 6.7 percent in Sweden.

The Materials Processing Institute carries out research and innovation in the fields of advanced materials, industrial decarbonisation, the circular economy, and digital technologies Last year it was awarded £22m by chancellor Rishi Sunak to deliver a five-year research and innovation programme to revolutionise the steel and metals sector.