Digital Economy Council, which meets for first time today, also features Cisco, Facebook, and BT
Karen Bradley: “The Digital Economy Council will play a vital part in helping us achieve our aim of making the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a digital business” Credit: PA
Today sees the first meeting of the Digital Economy Council (DEC), a new initiative in which academics and senior figures from major technology firms will work with the government on the rollout of its UK Digital Strategy.
The council was established by the – freshly rebranded – Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport. Members include the likes of Google, Facebook, Cisco, BT, and Apple. Also involved are industry bodies such as techUK, and representatives from academia. Its first meeting will be chaired by culture secretary Karen Bradley.
The DEC’s first meeting will reportedly see Bradley laying out an agenda for the year ahead, as well seeking general feedback on how the government could better engage with the technology sector. Areas of focus for the coming months are likely to include helping SMEs drive digital transformation, and assisting the UK’s research sector in building a better commercial proposition.
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“I’m delighted to be bringing together this powerful group of tech experts, industry leaders, and global innovators to spearhead new growth in our thriving digital economy,” she said. “The Digital Economy Council will play a vital part in helping us achieve our aim of making the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a digital business with the benefits enjoyed throughout society and in every part of our country.”
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport claims that there are currently more than 200,000 digital businesses based in the UK, employing a total of more than 1.4 million people. Southampton, west Cornwall, and Dundee were singled out as the quickest-growing hubs of digital activity in the four-year period from 2010 to 2014.
Jacqueline de Rojas, president of techUK, said: “Tech can be a powerful growth engine of the UK economy post-Brexit. For that to happen there is much that we need to get right. From the Digital Strategy to the proposed new Digital Charter, I’m happy government is working with tech businesses to ensure that we unlock the next wave of digital growth.”
The government will also shortly be convening its Digital Economy Advisory Group, which will specifically focus on the intricacies of establishing and growing a technology company.