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March 13, 2017
As reported in last week’s N2K, the Government has launched its Digital Strategy, which sets out its intentions to create “a world-leading digital economy that works for everyone”. The Government established its desire to ensure that the UK is the best place to start and grow a digital business, including games, which were highlighted in the Digital Strategy as an example of one of the UK’s great strengths along with FinTech and EdTech.
Ukie says that the Strategy is ambitious and broad in nature, and it importantly centres on digital skills with more than four million free digital skills training opportunities being created. There is also an important focus on digital infrastructure and supporting high-potential innovative technologies like AI, and it will form a key part of the Government’s plan to keep the UK at the forefront of the digital revolution following our departure from the EU.
Highlights from the Strategy for the games and interactive entertainment industry include:
- Digital skills: a new Digital Skills Partnership led by the Government will see business, charities and voluntary organisations coming together to make sure people have the right skills for the jobs in their area and are aware of all the digital training opportunities on offer;
- Digital infrastructure: a Business Connectivity Forum, to be chaired by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, to bring together business organisations, local authorities and communications providers to help businesses access fast, affordable and reliable broadband; confirmation of a £1 billion programme announced in the Autumn Statement to accelerate the development and uptake of next generation digital infrastructure, including full fibre broadband plans and 5G;
- Investment boost for AI: more support to boost growth in the AI sector; AI companies were identified as one of the technology areas that could be supported through the Government’s new Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and Ukie is engaging with InnovateUK on the Fund’s assessment criteria; £17.3 million funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to support the development of new robotics and AI technologies in UK universities;
- Creation of five new international tech hubs in emerging markets: these hubs will develop partnerships between UK companies and local tech firms, help provide British businesses with a global competitive edge, and drive collaboration on skills, innovation, technology, and research and development;
- Secretary of State-led forum for government and tech sector to collaborate: commitment to work together to spark growth in the digital economy through innovation and the adoption of digital in the wider economy.
To read Ukie’s press release in full, click here.