Geoffrey Owen

Sir Geoffrey Owen is head of industrial policy at Policy Exchange and a former Editor of the Financial Times.

Is this Dominic Cummings’ biggest legacy?

The government’s decision to set up a new research funding agency, to be known as the Advanced Research and Invention Agency (ARIA), marks an important break in UK science and innovation policy – potentially more important than any recent government initiative in this field. The aim, as the Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng explained last week,

How the UK can become a science superpower

Boris Johnson wants the UK to be a science superpower. Part of his plan is to set up a new funding agency, loosely based on the much-praised Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) in the US. This agency, strongly pushed by the Prime Minister’s adviser Dominic Cummings, will back high-risk, high-payoff projects with minimal bureaucratic control.

Tycoons of our times

How should the lives of business tycoons be judged — by their personal wealth, by the size of the companies they created, or by how long their business survives after their death? If the last of these criteria is chosen, then the record of recent British business leaders is not impressive. A good many of

An early lead lost

In 1926 Simon Marks, head of a little-known chain of penny bazaars called Marks & Spencer, placed an order for men’s socks with Corahs, a Leicester knitwear manufacturer. The order was kept secret – the Corah brothers did not want to offend the wholesalers, who forbade their suppliers from selling direct to retailers – but