Publication: Policy Brief – Aligning Digital and Industrial Policy to Foster Future Industrialization

Foster, C.G. & Azmeh, S. (2023) Aligning Digital and Industrial Policy to Foster Future Industrialization, Policy Brief: Insights on Industrial Development, 4, UNIDO, Vienna, Austria.


Digital technologies are driving industrial transformation, with impacts across a range of sectors of production. This includes potential shifts in the geography of global production with implications for industrial development. Novel approaches to industrial policy are necessary to embrace and take advantage of these changes.

We explore the emergence of national digital policies and their compatibility with our previous understanding of industrial policy. While some alignment between national digital policies and industrial policy in terms of rationale and instruments is evident, the growing importance of data calls for the development of a new set of approaches.

We use the concept of the “data value chain” to analyse potential approaches in terms of the distinct capabilities needed and the opportunities that arise within a chain of data capture, storage, processing and analytics. Building on this framework, we discuss emerging data pathways that link data policies to broader industrial development goals