UK tech industry publishes manifesto for digital future

17 September 2014

The UK trade association, formerly Intellect, has presented its wishlist for a global digital revolution and growth.

Securing our Digital Future is a manifesto for growth and jobs between 2015-2020. UKtech  urges politicians and policy-makers to recognise the critical significance of the global digital revolution and claims that 65% of voters believe that it is Government's responsibility to plan for the future.

This manifesto outlines how the next five years are crucial for the UK. It calls for the next government to use technology-led innovation to deliver high quality public services; increase productivity; and secure a million new jobs that help drive an inclusive and secure society.
Among the calls to action is to appoint dedicated digital ministers in every department, a new Chief Privacy Officer and a new FCO digital trade tsar. The next government, it says, should set a clear objective to double UK tech exports by 2020, bringing billions of extra value to the UK economy and supporting integrated trade such as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) for the tech sector.

Considering that one in seven start-ups in the UK was founded by a migrant, the association also calls for a 'smart migration' policy that allows high growth companies to tap in to the world's best talent, alongside measures to strengthen the pipeline of home grown skills. There is also a call for 10-year innovation budgets that extend beyond parliamentary cycles as a platform for long term growth.

Concern over data protection should lead to a clear legal framework for government surveillance, it says. There is also a need to strengthen public confidence in the use of data, with 18% of individuals reporting 'loss of privacy' as a drawback of innovation.

The next government must also ensure that the whole of the UK benefits, with jobs and growth beyond the South East of England and doubling the digital participation of SMEs across all industries. It believes that a properly funded digital inclusion programme will ensure that everyone has basic online skills by 2020.

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