Horizon Blog

Information Economy Strategy

The UK Government launched it’s Information Economy Strategy in June 2013. This Strategy is one of approximately 11 sector-specific strategy documents which make up the UK’s Industrial Strategy.

The Industrial Economy Strategy aims to address four key issues currently facing the information economy:

  • Skills shortages
  • Infrastructure requirements
  • Cyber-security issues
  • Market failures

Progress against the objectives set out in the Strategy will be overseen by an Information Economy Council which will include representatives from government, industry and academia. The vision set out by the Strategy is for a strong, innovative information economy sector supported by confident businesses and consumers. This will be underpinned by a skilled digital workforce, a world-class digital infrastructure and strong frameworks to support cyber-security and privacy.

In terms of addressing skills shortages the Strategy aims to target both potential technology users as well as inventors and developers of new technology. This will be achieved through curriculum development at all levels from schools to higher education and beyond, with particular emphasis on exploiting the opportunity of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses).

The other major concern raised by the Strategy is that of cyber-security and privacy, something that relates closely to a lot of the research Horizon undertakes. The Government sets out it’s ambition to drive international discussions in key areas such as privacy and data protection but at the same time talks about how encouraging consumers to share their data, through programmes such as Midata, can unlock innovation in the information economy. The Strategy does however mention the establishment of a number of working groups on consumer confidence and trust which will report back to the Government on a range of security and privacy issues later this summer.

The Government will publish a ‘Data Capability’ strategy in October which will set out further actions to advance the UK’s capability and capacity in “data for growth”, building on the recommendations of the Shakespeare Review – so watch this space…

Does anyone have any thoughts on the Information Economy Strategy? Whilst it’s an interesting development I think it shows the government is much less advanced in it’s thinking for this sector of the economy than for others.