Last week Alex Neill MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment, spoke at the NextGen Scotland conference hosted on 7 June by the Scottish government. The event outlined the country’s digital aspirations and announced more seed-funding for small community digital schemes in remote rural areas.
In an impassioned keynote address Mr Neill said that “by 2020 the whole of Scotland will have access to some form of superfast broadband and this is absolutely core to the economic growth strategy of a modern society.”
Delegates from across Scotland and from many different sectors of the economy heard details of projects underway in cities and rural areas. In a series of expert sessions they were able to discuss diverse technology solutions and the various impacts and benefits of digital services on work and life.
Fixing the digital deficit
Many examples showed how addressing the digital deficit has become a pre-requisite for a return to economic growth and societal development. The day’s major themes included calls for more intense efforts to be made to explain the realities of Scotland’s digital economy to the many small businesses at risk of losing growth opportunities.
The NextGen Scotland event brought together experts from across Europe - including regulatory and network leaders from Lithuania and Sweden, where the digital economy is already well established.
Marit Hendriks, the event director, said, “With strong backing for digital investment in Scotland and the government’s understanding of benefits for the health of many communities in Scotland’s cities and remote rural areas, the prospects for inward investment and a revitalization of the economy will only grow if people everywhere engage in these programmes.”
The event was one of a series that has also visited York and Milton Keynes and will next focus on the UK’s West Country on July 17 in Bristol.
The 2012 NextGen programme culminates in a major two day policy and practice conference in Westminster (8 and 9 October) and will feature speakers from the main parties and digital experts from business and community groups with a focus on accelerating the growth of the digital economy.
For more information, please visit www.nextgenevents.co.uk
NextGen is the UK’s premier platform for knowledge transfer about digital access network investment and management. The NextGen 12 programme includes four events across the UK and a full 2-day conference on 8 and 9 October in London. This is the 5th year for the NextGen programme and delegate numbers are expected to continue to double year on year as the UK market grows.
NextGen is directed by Marit Hendriks and Andrew Macdonald. NG Events Ltd trading as NextGen is technology, supplier and service neutral. For more details, sponsors and supporters, see www.nextgenevents.co.uk
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