Advisory body recommends digital focus for Scotland
Digital Media group claims doubling of region's sector revenues by 2012 is possible
The Scottish Digital Media Industry Advisory Group has unveiled a strategy which it believes would result in the country's revenues from the digital sector doubling in the next two years to GBP 6.3 billion.
The body, chaired by Channel 4 exec Stuart Cosgrove, has submitted proposals to significantly enhance Scotland's global reputation in the digital industries - including the videogames business - which have been welcomed by Scottish Enterprise.
"Many of the simple things we do every day are being transformed by digital technologies - from online news and digital photography, to music downloads, multiplatform television and social networking," said Cosgrove. "These markets offer huge potential for Scotland and we want to ensure that our companies are able to act on these opportunities. To achieve a step-change in Scotlandís global reputation in digital media, we need to increase the number of companies, encourage them to leverage, own and exploit the platforms on which they operate, and extract more value from intellectual property rights."
Among the specific proposals in the "Digital Inspiration" document are:
- Increase both the number and scale of digital media companies
- A national drive to increase the volume and value of innovative digital media platforms owned or managed from Scotland
- A greater and more profitable role for Scottish companies in the chain of distribution and interactivity
- A more sophisticated understanding of the value to be derived from digital media as a growing and evolving business sector
- A greater commitment to improving the performance of companies in the creative 'value-chain'
- Much more profitable leverage of intellectual property rights
- Launch a pilot programme of tax and fiscal benefits to support the Dundee games sector in 2010 to increase its global competitiveness
- Generate greater investor awareness of digital media as a growth sector and greater investor readiness on the part of emergent companies
- Cultivate a more ambitious national culture of acquisition, allowing Scottish companies to buy and not always be bought.
Terry Hurley, senior director of Digital Media and Enabling Technologies at Scottish Enterprise, commented: "This debate is extremely important for Scottish Enterprise, other public sector organisations and industry, to inform how we can support the sector to achieve its growth potential, and ultimately result in Scotland's economic growth."
Last week up to GBP 10 million in development support funding was announced for videogames Centres of Excellence in Dundee and Manchester.