Welcome to the Creative and Innovative Digital Services TIC discussion forum.  Comments and questions about the proposed TIC can be posted on here or emailed to:  centres@tsb.gov.uk.   We will also be working closely with the KTNs.

Creative and Innovative Digital Services is one of the potential candidate areas for investment under the Strategy and Implementation Plan for Technology and Innovation Centres.   This note starts the process for discussions with relevant businesses and academics.     We want to build on the excellent input we received in response to the Prospectus in January.  We would welcome comments on the outline below and initial proposals for how we should engage.    We would particularly welcome comments from businesses in the sector with views on how they would engage with and benefit from the establishment of a TIC in this area.

Possible Scope

The proposed TIC could focus on the new technologies, value chains and ecologies, IP and licensing frameworks that surround the disruption of existing industries by the digital revolution.  Its aim could be to enable the UK to lead on the development of new platform technologies, and legal and regulatory factors in order to anchor important parts of the value chain in the UK. It could address the development and monetisation of digital services, such as those based on media content, and the data derived from the use of such services.

As early adopters of digital technologies, UK businesses in the creative and media sectors are well positioned to grapple with and ultimately resolve the issues that could otherwise limit the commercialisation of those technologies. The Centre would also aim to propagate this learning across other sectors and create new value chains and ecologies.

In our strategy (published July 2009) we identified that much of the sector's value and growth lay at the confluence of Creativity and Digital services.  Since its publication, we have invested in consortia developing technologies at that point of convergence to address these challenges. A TIC can engender industry-wide collaboration around the integration, standardization, adoption and refinement of technology to accelerate and maximise the impact of that continuing investment.

Question – is this the right scope for a TIC in this area?

Benefits

We want to explore in greater detail whether a TIC would be the most effective way of stimulating UK business growth in this area, rather than one of our other investment mechanisms.  

The Creative Industries are diverse to say the least, not only in terms of the size of companies and the content they produce, but also their commercial nature.  The value chain is complex, value is produced throughout it and that value is often derived from innovation.  So when we look at how to support innovation in a sector that comprises over 140,000 companies, from independent record labels to multi-national Advertising agencies, we have an opportunity to do so inclusively around a centre.  To build an inclusive centre, our engagement plan is similarly inclusive.

We will be looking to understand from an array of different perspectives:

• Why is a centre the right mechanism to address the challenges of the Creative Industries?

• What services can be provided by the centre without distorting existing commercial offerings?

• Which businesses will demand these services?

• What capital investment will the centre need to offer them? 

• What opportunities are unlocked by a centre?

• What is the UK plc investment case for a TIC?

Input from the Community

We will be engaging with the following groups:

• Businesses – Large players & SME’s from across the sector, particularly those such as Film, TV/Radio, Publishing, Computer Games, Music, Advertising, Design, Software developers

• Stakeholders in the public, private, subsidised and academic sectors

• Industry groups, trade bodies and membership organisations such as Creative Industries KTN and ICT KTN and their communities

• Other funders and policymakers

Question: Are there other bodies to engage with?

                  Would you like to be involved in these discussions? If so please join this group and leave a comment, email to centres@tsb.gov.uk with your contact details

How we will engage

The 1991 DCMS 13 Sector definition of Creative Industries is no longer adequate for our means and as has recently been noted by Hargreaves, the available data is soft at best and the definitions of the sector are in need of updating.  The mapping of the sector we have begun needs to be extended, given more granularity and to be tracked against actual businesses on the ground in order to help us establish the true scope and range of the sector.

We will conduct a series of interviews with key stakeholders and open events to gather input from all parties committed to supporting innovation in the UK.  That engagement will happen principally online through the use of webinars and hosted networking around our _connect platform, although we will seek to run some physical events both in and outside of London.

Further details of events will be made public on the this discussions forum.  To keep informed, please join this group.

Timescales

More details will follow, but the events outlined above are planned for Q4 2011.

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Proposed TIC Discussion Forum