Digital Britain: NESTA’s Response

Digital Britain ReportNESTA, the independent charity that invests in science, technology and arts, responds to the new Digital Britain report and says that "digital Britons" must now be the focus…

Welcoming the latest publication of the Government’s Digital Britain Report, Chief Executive of the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) Jonathan Kestenbaum, says:

"Digital Britain is no longer a marginal issue. It lies at the heart of unlocking economic potential and radically reshaping how we deliver public services. Get this right and people will no longer accept being passive consumers of services, but will become a part of the solution. The challenge for policymakers is to harness this new power in a positive way. It’s time for Britons to get digital"

Following the publication of Digital Britain, NESTA will take forward a practical set of solutions that will:

  • Develop a rights framework, along with other organisations, for publicly procured new media content which will allow secondary commercial exploitation and create extra public revenues;
  • Work with the TSB (Technology Strategy Board) on the development of a Next Generation Digital Testbed where the telecoms industry and digital innovators can experiment with novel product ideas and revenue models, intellectual property frameworks and new models of partnership that will enable UK businesses to become global leaders in the digital markets.

In addition, NESTA will launch Reboot Britain in early July which will use the opportunities offered by digitisation to find practical solutions to some of the intractable social challenges we face, for example, providing public services which are more efficient and shaped by the people who use them. Websites such as ‘fixmystreet.com’ – which allows citizens to report service issues in their communities, are already changing the way local services are delivered.

The UK is in a strong position to reap the benefits from this transformation. But it will require a relentless focus on innovation. NESTA has estimated that if the UK does not get up to speed in its transition to digital markets, the UK economy stands to lose an annual £6bn in value added by 2013.

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