Oct 16 2023
The Midlands is already a centre of excellence in digital innovation. Home to the UK’s first multicity 5G testbed, enabling 5G connectivity is worth £5 billion to the Midlands economy over the next five years and a further £15.9 billion over the subsequent five years.
As we drive digital levelling up across our region, in partnership, we are creating a network of digitised businesses and exceptional digital skills – bridging the digital poverty divide exacerbated by the pandemic. Bringing our entire region up to speed will be fundamental for our prosperity as a region in the UK and on the world stage. This makes seeking new opportunities to improve digital connectivity crucial if we are to take maximum advantage of the exciting next stages of digital growth.
Leading digital experts, technology firms and public sector influencers are coming together, through the work of the Midlands Engine Digital Strategy Board, to establish a Midlands Digital leadership group. This influential partnership will accelerate regional digital transformation, showcasing our impressive capabilities and potential for growth. We will also actively seek opportunities to scale up innovation as an early adopter and testbed for emerging and new technologies. The challenge of tackling digital poverty is also a priority, as we embrace the opportunity of leveraging existing and new regional capabilities. Midlands Digital is a key driver to boost productivity, amplifying the work of our partners to create a region of unrivaled connectivity, digital innovation and expertise.
For the first time, we have a comprehensive understanding of regional connectivity thanks to the completion of the first phase of the Digital Connected Map. Developed in partnership with WM5G, the map shows public assets, 4G, 5G and fibre + gigabit connections, providing an invaluable picture of current coverage and where services are needed most.
Work is now underway to use this formative evidence base to drive more investment to the Midlands from both private and public sector sources, in support of faster infrastructure delivery.
An influential ambassador for the Midlands, the Midlands Engine Digital Strategy Board underpins and champions our work. The Board works with key government stakeholders and partners to secure inward investment in digital trials and technology, driving the Midlands forward in our aim of becoming an ultra-connected region with unrivaled digital skills.
The Midlands Engine Digital Steering Group is a senior officer working group of the Midlands Engine partnership. It places a specific focus on accelerating infrastructure, removing barriers to connectivity and enabling research into digital competitiveness and digital skills.
Oct 16 2023
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