The technology revolution is failing to reach all parts of Britain. Silicon Cities argues that ‘clusters’ – geographic concentrations of interconnected companies and institutions in a particular field – are the most effective way of boosting the technology sector across the country, and makes a number of recommendations as to how this can be achieved.
Politicians and policymakers must put technology front and centre of their thinking for the 2015 general election. This manifesto sets out three principal goals: to build the world's most connected and digitally skilled society; to make Britain the most attractive place outside of Silicon Valley for technology entrepreneurs to start and grow a business; and to make our government the smartest in the world.
Smaller, Better, Faster, Stronger shows how government could save as much as £70 billion by 2020 if it adopted plans to eliminate paper and digitise its activities, work smarter with fewer staff in Whitehall, shop around for the best procurement deals, and accelerate the use of data and analytics.
The Superfast and the Furious argues that politicians have become overly focused on broadband speeds. Instead the government should focus on helping the 10.8 million people not online and do more to help small businesses make the most of the opportunities presented by the internet.
The UK has enormous potential to be a world-leader in the high-tech and digital economy, but it is tough for start-ups to find enough coders, designers and other highly skilled staff. Bits and Billions looks to the United States, especially California which is home to nearly half of the top 100 digital start-ups in the world, for lessons for UK policymakers.
Simple Things, Done Well shows how a "digital-by-default" government can both reach those older people who do not normally use the internet and provide support for young people looking for work and education opportunities.
The Big Data Opportunity shows that better use of data, technology and analytics could help the government save money by improving efficiency rather than reducing service levels. Applying cutting-edge data and analytics in the UK public sector could generate potential savings of up to £16–£33 billion a year.
Financing Innovation argues that the government should concentrate efforts on removing barriers for innovative small businesses by allowing them to bypass all the current complexity on charges, reliefs, rates and exemptions and instead deal with a simple flat tax.
A Right to Data says that all non-personal data held by the public sector should be made available to the public for free. Opening up public data so that it can be linked, analysed and made useful could provide a huge economic and social boost, with some estimates suggesting that the upside for the economy could run into the billions of pounds.