Digital boost for SMEs

Published on Wednesday, 22 May 2013 11:22
Posted by Vicki Mitchem

A £7 million funding package will help businesses across Scotland to become more digitally connected, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced today.

The new funding from the Scottish Government will be available to SMEs to enable them to adopt and make better use of new technologies, helping them to become more competitive.

Speaking after announcing the new funding at the Digital Scotland Conference at Heriot Watt University, Ms Sturgeon said:

"It is vital that businesses across Scotland have access to the latest cutting edge technologies to enable them to thrive and compete internationally.

"Our ability to exploit these new opportunities is central to positioning Scotland as a world leading digital nation within a global digital economy.

"This funding package will provide much needed support to enable Scottish businesses to compete in a global digital world.

"Already, Scotland has world class strengths in areas like renewables and life sciences, and I want our digital industry to be a similar driving force for this country.  But we also need to do more to ensure that our computing skills continue to lead the world, that we continue to innovate and that digital businesses of all sizes are encouraged to develop in our country.

"Investment in our digital economy will boost jobs, transform our businesses, raise productivity and open up new markets to attract inward investment.

"It will also change the way that we live – from the way we book holidays to the way we access health care.  We are committed to ensuring that all of Scotland is able to reap the social and cultural benefits of the internet.

"Technology and access to high speed internet is a vital part of Scotland's infrastructure, and that is why we are committed to delivering a world class digital infrastructure to the people of Scotland by 2020."

Polly Purvis, Executive Director of ScotlandIS said :

"This is great news for Scotland's business community.  Digital technologies are transforming businesses, and harnessed effectively allow them to punch above their weight, accessing a much wider marketplace through e-commerce and the web, improving productivity, and reducing costs.

"Digital skills are a skill set we all need to master but it's definitely worth the investment, as it opens the doors to so many opportunities.  There are few barriers to starting up a business in the digital age, as witnessed by the plethora of smart new businesses springing up across Scotland.  We also benefit from the capabilities of the digital technologies industry delivering world class solutions and products right here in Scotland so the expertise is on our door step."

Welcoming the announcement David Smith, director of technology, engineering and creative industries, said:

"By helping more Scottish companies access and use the latest technologies, we can ensure that they realise their ambitious growth plans more quickly.

"We look forward to working our colleagues in the Scottish Government and other agencies to encourage more businesses to take advantage of the opportunities within the digital economy."

Laurence Ward, Chair of the Industry-led Technology Advisory Group said:

"This is a much needed and potential game changing investment in Scotland's digital future.  Scottish businesses across all sectors should follow this lead and move quickly to seize the opportunity to make Scotland a world leading digital economy".

Source: Scottish Government

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