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UK Government announce Digital strategy

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) have released their Digital Strategy which is their ‘vision for harnessing digital transformation’ with the aim to make the digital economy more inclusive, competitive, and innovative.

As a cross-government strategy, the UK Digital Strategy will focus on six key areas and digital foundations is the start of the digital strategy and will see the government commit to rolling out ‘world class’ infrastructure around the country to allow the UK to harness the power of data. The freedom that is offered by Brexit will allow them to implement a ‘light touch, pro-growth regulatory regime’ that will encourage innovation and investment whilst also protecting citizens.

Substantial government investment will be put into ideas and intellectual property, more specifically, research and development that will stimulate private investment and feed digital businesses. Artificial intelligence, next-generation semiconductors, digital twins, autonomous systems, and quantum computing will also benefit from plans to grow the UK’s expertise in the ‘foundational deep technologies of the future.’

The government will also work with schools, universities and other education providers, as well as businesses, to ensure that the digital skills required to innovate, develop and grow, as well as incentivising skilled digital workers from around the workers from around the world to come to the UK with ease. The incentives include a comprehensive set of visa routes that are already available to digital businesses as well as the new High Potential Individual and Scale-Up visas that allow UK digital businesses to easily recruit from anywhere in the world.

The UK government is placing a lot of emphasis on levelling up, and digital strategy is no different. This part of the strategy will see better access to the benefits of digital technologies across the country which will improve productivity. Support from the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund will help to ensure that no person or place is left behind as the UK levels up.

Chris Philip MP, Minister for Tech and the Digital Economy, said:

“Digital technology has transformed our lives and will continue to do so. The UK’s economic future, jobs, wage levels, prosperity, national security, cost of living, productivity, ability to compete globally and our geo-political standing in the world are all reliant on continued and growing success in digital technology.

The UK should always enthusiastically celebrate the success of our digital businesses and champion our global leadership in areas such as fintech. The success and wealth created by investors and founders of digital business is a national success, to be applauded, encouraged and emulated – not criticised.”

With the release of the strategy, Philip has also promised that the plans detailed in the report will be delivered quickly and with clarity. As the nation looks to innovate and improve across the board, this will be a key part of ambitions to strengthen the nations position as a science and technology superpower, something that, according to the minster, is crucial to the UK’s prosperity and place in the world.

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End-of-life is often overlooked yet is equally as important to a digital strategy, but what happens to end-of-life technology? What is the impact on the environment, net zero targets? What is the financial impact, is value for money for the taxpayer simply discarded and destroyed along with the technology?
 

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Ben Tongue, Digital Net Zero Lead, NHS England

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