Business, Innovation and Skills Committee examines digital economy

The Business, Innovation and Skills Committee has launched an inquiry looking at government actions affecting businesses in the digital economy.

As part of the inquiry, MPs will investigate opportunities and challenges within this sector, and ways in which it can improve national productivity.

The committee will also look into how businesses can adapt to the ever-changing environment and use “digital infrastructure” to advance their performance, as well as examine what the government can do to make sure the UK is able to make the most of digital technologies.


Key questions

The inquiry will focus on the following 6 enquiries:

  1. What are the major barriers to UK business success in the digital economy? What steps could the Government take to help businesses to overcome these barriers?
  2. How effective are UK financial markets in supporting the digital economy? What actions could the Government take to improve their effectiveness?
  3. What lessons can be learned from the Government’s support of tech start-ups and other measures targeted at the digital economy?  How is this developing around the regions and nations of the United Kingdom?
  4. Does the UK’s Intellectual Property regulatory regime provide effective protection for the digital economy and sufficient scope for innovation and competition?
  5. What actions could the Government take to foster the development of potentially disruptive technologies? Are further safeguards warranted to help existing businesses adapt to the impact of these technologies on their traditional business models?
  6. What actions could the Government take to ensure the availability of a workforce with the skills to support businesses in the digital economy?


Digital and tech revolution

Iain Wright MP, the Chair of the Business Innovation and Skills Select Committee, said of the inquiry:

Digital technology is rapidly changing the economic landscape in which firms operate. Nothing short of a digital and tech revolution is taking place, with new entrepreneurs and business models emerging and existing businesses having to adapt quickly to keep pace. There are huge opportunities for competitive advantage for UK firms, but also real challenges.

“The BIS Committee wants to evaluate existing initiatives by the Government and to consider what other actions the Government might take to enhance the UK digital economy. We want to hear from all those interested and involved in this area, whether you are a tech entrepreneur ambitious to start a business or  a company in an established part of the economy hoping to use digital technology to improve your business, so we can help ensure that the UK is at the forefront of the global digital economy.”


How to respond?

According to the committee, “written submissions should be sent online via the inquiry webpage”. The closing date is Thursday 29th October.

The inquiry “complements” the Culture, Media and Support Select Committee’s inquiry into superfast broadband and “will not cover the delivery and implementation of broadband services”.

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