UK Government opens consultation on its new national digital strategy 0

s300_digital-economy-640x4001Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey has called on members of the public and industry to share their ideas on how the UK’s digital revolution can be taken to the next stage. The announcement of the consultation follows what the Government claims was a successful first stage of its strategy with the creation of digital clusters in East London, centred on Tech City. Five years on, the Government claims that  the UK is now truly a ‘Tech Nation’ with more than 70 per cent of digital businesses now based outside of the capital. According to Vaizey, “this revolution has been led by entrepreneurs but supported by Government in creating the right environment for ideas and businesses to flourish. Government is now looking at a new Digital Strategy for the UK for the next five years. It wants the UK to be synonymous with digital – a place where digital technologies transform day-to-day life, the economy and government.”

Government is looking at a wide range of areas such as:

  • In education, universities and colleges are already using massive open online courses – MOOCs as they’re called – so lectures and courses can reach a much wider audience, costing less. Could schools benefit from similar innovations?
  • In the NHS, it’s already moving from a largely paper-based system to a digital-by-default. What more can we do to make our health system more efficient and joined up, so that our amazing doctors and nurses can spend more time saving lives and improving care?
  • From driverless cars to deliveries by drone – the future imagined by far-fetched science fiction films from only a few years ago is rapidly coming true. How can we make sure the UK is at the cutting edge of these developments?

Ed Vaizey said:” Every part of the UK economy and our lives has been digitised – from how we shop and entertain ourselves to the way we travel to work and manage our health. This digital fever exploded from the cluster in east London, and has spread to every part of the country, making the UK truly a ‘Tech Nation’. But we need to work hard to make sure we continue to take advantage of the benefits digital transformation has to offer. Come 2020, undoubtedly the UK landscape will have changed to be firmly in the digital age. But how do you want to shape that? Let’s show the rest of the world how it’s done.”

Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, Matthew Hancock said: “as a Government, we are transforming the relationship between the citizen and the state, making public services — such as renewing your driving licence or paying your tax bill — simpler, clearer and faster. The potential for transformation driven by digital is vast, and we are reforming public services to take advantage of state-of-the-art technologies, not just now but including innovations to come. We will continually find new opportunities to deliver better public services and to keep the UK contributing as a global digital leader. We will further invest and develop technology that removes friction, simplifies government and delivers better services for less.”

You can send your thoughts to by 19 January 2016.