Vince Cable and Ed Miliband are to give speeches at the conference of manufacturers organization the EEF, where they will set out their vission for UK industry.
Mariana Mazzucato, professor of economics and chair in science and technology policy at the University of Sussex, told the Today programme's Evan Davis that a coherent industry strategy, supporting innovation and productivity, has been "lacking in the UK" in the last 10 years.
She said it is not about the government "picking winners" but rather following in the footsteps of countries like China, Finland, South Korea and Germany - investing huge amounts in new sectors like new energy cars, IT and energy saving technology.
The lesson from Sillicon Valley, she said, was that "courageous, bold, government funding" led the way when the private sector was too cautious to invest.
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