Saturday, 14 November 2009

Digital Scotland

An initial meeting of the RSE Digital Scotland Working Group (DSWG) was held on the 13th November 2009. In addition to a good attendance at the meeting, several other key individuals who had other commitments that day indicated that they would be prepared to contribute towards the development of a Digital Scotland report / advice paper.

It was the view of the working group that there is an opportunity for Scotland to develop a more radical and visionary approach to the use of digital technology than was perhaps possible for the UK as a whole.

It was agreed that it would be worthwhile for the RSE to develop an Advice Paper with a view to advancing digital development in Scotland. It is envisaged that this work will take place over several months with members of the working group engaging in interviews with key groups between meetings.

The overall aim of the DSWG will to be to develop a vision of the society that Scotland can become by embracing the opportunities offered by digital technology. This vision should be about individuals, society, the environment and the economy.

Digital technology should be seen as a vehicle that can and should produce societal benefits and consideration should be given on the broadest frame to what can be achieved.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Digital Britain

A White Paper, Digital Britain, produced by a committee chaired by Lord Carter, was published in June 2009. It was envisaged as the UK Government's strategic vision for ensuring that the UK is at the leading edge of the global digital economy. It comments that:
The Digital Britain agenda encompasses a broad spectrum of policies, some of which are the responsibility of devolved administrations. Not all the initiatives referred to in the report, therefore, are UK-wide. The UK Government hopes to work in partnership with the devolved administrations to deliver a successful digital economy across the UK but recognises that for some policy areas, such as education and some public services, a different approach may be taken in different parts of the UK.

While many of the recommendations of the report apply unchanged to Scotland, Scotland faces particular challenges, such as large and remote rural areas, particular opportunities of scale and, arguably, better-skilled human capital, not shared by the rest of the UK.

The Royal Society of Edinburgh has concluded therefore that it would be appropriate to undertake a review under the heading Digital Scotland, with the intention of producing a report to advocate measures in this domain that could and should be undertaken in Scotland.
The Digital Scotland report will build on the Carter Report to:
  1. Review scientific, economic and social questions relating to Scotland’s inclusion in the global digital economy, and to digital inclusion in Scotland;
  2. Provide an evidence base, and identify challenges and opportunities for development of digital infrastructure, and its exploitation in Scotland.