UKIE initiates 100,000 fund for digital coalition

Trade body puts up to 30,000; teams with TIGA and wider digital industries

UKIE has kick-started a 100,000 fund to raise awareness, promote and improve the digital industries in the UK.

The trade association has stumped up 30,000 so far and is teaming with the full support of developer body TIGA - a group that has in the past declined to work with other games bodies.

NESTA, eskills, The Frame Store, Blitz Games and crucially the Department of Culture Media & Sport are on board, but the Department of Education has so far been reluctant to get involved.

"We decided to get some very quick seed funding together which UKIE has put their hands in their pockets for, mainly from the old-fashioned publishers," revealed UKIE chairman Andy Payne, at the Develop Conference in Brighton today.

We need to understand, respect, applaud and invest in digital business. Otherwise we will be the washer-uppers for the rest of the world

"There's 30,000 allocated and there's going to be up to 100,00 over the next 18 months. We're serious about this, we're not going to fund it on our own, but let's get it done and worry about money afterwards. We can't hang around here, the clock is ticking."

"The key department that hasn't been engaged, and is doing a bloody good job of trying to be disengaged, is the Department of Education," added a frustrated Payne.

The move has come off the back of the submission of the Livingstone Hope Review, released back in February but which still hasn't received a response from the government. Payne said he's expecting a proper reaction in September and will continue to press the government for feedback.

"It's my job to hold the politicians to account. As an industry we've been let down by our politicians," he said, referencing the withdrawal of promised tax breaks.

"That's a big blow for the British games industry and something we need to get back somehow," he added. "We need to join up, we need to make sure that we've got a concerted strategy in order for politicians to understand what we do. We've got to be a bit smarter so the key thing is coalition.

"It's about working with other industries, starting close with the two trade associations, and the broadening it out to the VFX industry, for example. And then looking across and bringing as many people as possible to go to the politicians and put together some policy.

"Digital engineering and digital manufacturing are real, and if we do not understand those we need to understand them, we need to respect them, we need to applaud them, we need to invest in them. So that we can compete with the rest of the world, otherwise we will be the washer-uppers for the rest of the world."

Despite the promising early signs of support, Payne appealed for more companies and individuals to come forward to bolster the ranks, helping to bring digital business to the attention of the government, improve education and technology training amongst graduates and push the UK as a world leader.

"I would appeal to all the members of UKIE and all the members of TIGA to at least be part of this so we can put more names on the sheet. If we can replicate that in different industries then we will have something that they will have to take notice of."

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Latest comments (7)

We need to show the Doe and hmrc that digital service sector and biz bring in a lot of tax receipts and is a massively big $45 bn pie in the sky
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Terence Gage Freelance writer 6 years ago
Agreed. They need to realise what an important and flourishing sector it is, with expansion happening year-on-year despite financial ailments in most other sectors.

Is the National Lottery involved in videogame funding at all, or would it need a proper government body to associate with? I only ask as they fund film and sport projects and so on, so perhaps dipping their toes into the waters of gaming is something they'd be open to as well.
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Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D6 years ago
I don't think we need to persuade the government any more than we already have. the public, maybe, but the government, no.

The government has been told of the importance of the industry when it comes to the economy. And they seem to believe that the industry isn't worth supporting because those who leave it (through closures, etc) will be absorbed by other parts of the economy. Short sighted, for sure, but that's politicians for you.

Andy Payne says the industry has been let down by the government. I'd say the whole of our society has been let down by its political classes. I suppose that's an argument for another day though!
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Well, the long and short of it is - parliment is going to go on recess till August.

During this time, I believe our existing lobbys and cases can be re strengthened and repackaged for the next "term" in the corridors of power.

(whilst in the background you have the US, Euro and China all jockeying the various economic deals/currencies to maintain the status quo. It could be come August, we have some artificial predictable crisis on hand whilst in the gaming world, its GDC Europe/Gamescom celebration time!)
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Andy Payne Chair/founder, AppyNation6 years ago
To be clear, I did say we are expecting a full response from the DCMS on behalf of the Government around the end of September and we were looking forward to it. I also said that as an industry we have to be proactive and get the 20 reco
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Andy Payne Chair/founder, AppyNation6 years ago
The wonders of digital connectivity. Apologies my comment was shortened.
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Andy Payne Chair/founder, AppyNation6 years ago
The wonders of digital connectivity. Apologies my comment was shortened.
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