Cambridge Wireless (CW) and Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) have delivered the first ever Digital Sector Strategy to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA) Business Board. Content from this document has already been adopted into the new Local Industrial Strategy, and recommendations are starting to be progressed.
This comprehensive strategy was developed by a Commission consisting of senior figures from regional business and academia, chaired by David Cleevely, based on primary research and secondary data. It provides recommendations across nine domains, for both the public and private sectors, that the Commission believes will help increase the digital sector’s contribution to regional gross value added (GVA) and enhance Cambridgeshire & Peterborough’s reputation as a global centre of cutting-edge and inclusive technology innovation and adoption.
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough employs more than double the number of digital workers compared to the rest of the country and continues to be a magnet for global inward investment. It is an enabling sector whose products and services offer increased productivity to all other regional industries.
The Commission agreed that the region is very well-placed for widespread digital success, but to capitalise on this opportunity, the public and private sectors have to act now to install the digital infrastructure, talent pipelines, networking and knowledge transfer processes to compete effectively.
- Further comments are now welcome on this final document from the business community before the July meeting of the Business Board.
Based on data gathered in a region-wide business survey, the domains identified as those most critical to success are talent & skills, technology infrastructure and the digital supply chain. Networking emerged throughout the development of this report as an essential underpinning for each of the domain areas. Recommendations that are already being progressed by the Combined Authority as first priorities include:
- High quality digital infrastructure being installed as default alongside major transport schemes and other works, being consulted upon as part of the Local Transport Plan
- Prioritising digital skills provision as part of the commissioning of the newly devolved Adult Education Budget
- Building a compelling Cambridge cluster brand and marketing programme to increase inward investment
- Developing innovation districts where applications of new digital technologies and solutions can be trialled
The Combined Authority was impressed with the thoroughness of the Digital Sector Strategy, as well as the level of region-wide stakeholder engagement which was shown throughout. It was very important to us that the business community had an opportunity to share their views on the future growth of the region’s digital sector and we welcome further comments before the Business Board meets in July to agree how the recommendations outlined in the Strategy will be taken forwards.
Business Board lead for Local Industrial Strategy Prof. Andy Neely
Cambridgeshire & Peterborough is well-placed for digital success. Its technological innovation is complemented by the region’s manufacturing, logistics and agricultural hubs that offer clear testbed opportunities for the trialling of new digital products and services. The recommendations found within the Digital Sector Strategy build on this position and are firmly based on three principles: tailoring actions to the local business culture, restricting interference in the marketplace only to areas that show signs of failure, and ensuring that growth in the digital sector is conducted in a manner that is sustainable, equitable and enhances the quality of life for citizens of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough.
Simon Mead, CEO of CW
The recommendations of the Digital Sector Strategy are founded in detailed research and analysis. Academics from Anglia Ruskin University worked alongside CW to review secondary sources, including the key data-sets of the Cambridge University Centre for Business Research. We studied the responses to the survey of over 100 local businesses and highlighted the links between the perceived relative importance of different recommendations to the districts of the respondents and to their roles in the technology supply chain, as well as ensuring that new ideas and insights were brought to the attention of the Combined Authority through this project.
Professor Emanuele Giovannetti, the Team’s academic lead
Notes to editors
- A full copy of the Digital Sector Strategy is available for review here: https://www.cambridgewireless.co.uk/media/uploads/files/Digital_Sector_Stategy_for_CPCA.pdf
- Feedback is welcome until 1 July 2019. Comments will be anonymised, summarised and submitted to the Business Board as a supporting document for their meeting at the end of July. Comments should be shared via this survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DigitalSectorStrategyFeedback
- The nine domains that were considered are:
- Talent & Skills
- Technology Infrastructure
- Supply Chain
- High Impact Networking
- Investment & Finance
- Industry Adoption
- International Considerations
- Knowledge Transfer