I add some additional comments to explain more about the work of the National Economic Development Office (NEDO) during this period. NEDO was set up by central government and operated through a hierarchy of industry committees (EDCs), each charged with developing strategy for success.
Membership of the senior EDC for the electronics and IT included all the big names such as Robert Telford (GEC Marconi), Michael Clark (Plessey) and of course, Ken Corfield (STC). A subsidiary committee for components included the lead voices from semiconductors and the emergent LSI/ microelectronics sectors – the lead players here included Derek Roberts (GEC), Robb Wilmot (TI), Danny McCaughan (later Nortel), and Iann Barron (Inmos). It was this committee that had the vision of impending convergence between computing and telecommunications and the implications for UK electronics companies – views that fed into the senior committee and no doubt influenced Ken Corfield and others.
These were heady days when it might still have been possible for the UK to exploit the potential for microelectronics and digital communications. We had lots of visions, but sadly as it proved not much born in reality.
NEDO was in effect closed down by Margaret Thatcher in 1987.