New products and technologies are transforming the global economy in an unprecedented way.
Driverless cars, advanced artificial intelligence, internet-connected household appliances and automated factories are no longer the stuff of science fiction.
These all have the potential to cause the biggest impact on the way we live our lives since the invention of the computer, which brought about the digital age.
This is known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and in parliament I’m leading the way in making sure that policy-makers prepare for the future and embrace change.
In Havant, we already have a number of businesses that are at the cutting edge of developing 4IR technology. Whether it is in factories operated by the likes of Wartsila or Eaton on New Lane, or delivering new products such as 3D printing by firms like Dream 3D on Harts Farm Way, Havant is embracing the technological age.
On Monday, I hosted the chairman of the World Economic Forum Klaus Schwab in parliament for my all-party parliamentary group on the 4IR. While there, I was able to show him the new Outrider drone which has been designed and developed by a team in Havant by Lockheed Martin.
This canister-fired drone has the ability to be fired at the press of a button and while it will be primarily used in the military, it has civilian capabilities, especially in search and rescue operations.
I’m proud that engineers and designers, based here in Havant, are developing world-class products that have the ability to transform the global economy.
If the rest of the UK can adopt the same forward-thinking mentality, then the country could capitalise on the 4IR, creating growth and ultimately well-paid skilled jobs.
As Prof Schwab said in his speech, ‘The 4IR is the key economic and political phenomenon of our time’, and I’m working hard to make sure it is at the top of the agenda in Parliament.
My next drop-in surgery is tomorrow at Tesco Extra in Havant from 4pm to 5.30pm. No appointment needed.