Gordon Brown this morning delivered a speech about the digital economy. He also mentioned investing in entrepreneurship to create an environment for economic growth. The full speech is at http://www.number10.gov.uk/Page22897. Here is an excerpt:
Instead of a gamble on crude laissez faire economic theories we need a new industrial strategy for this country founded on an open partnership of business, people and government – doing all we can to support enterprise as the engine of economic growth and unleashing the entrepreneurial, innovative and dynamic talents we have in Britain.
Encouraging those sectors in which Britain has – or can build – a global advantage; so Britain can truly lead the world.
It means where necessary, investing now to provide the conditions in which private enterprise in these sectors can thrive.
Sectors such as advanced manufacturing, clean energy, high speed rail, pharmaceuticals, science and research; and of course the digital industries – on which I want to focus my remarks this morning.
Of course, those industries are indeed very important for the growth of our economy, but what about the creative industries?
The creative industries that at the C&binet Forum in late 2009 was seen as the key to the UK pulling itself out of recession? The industry with supposedly the fastest growing employment rates in the country?
What was Labour’s buzzword of choice a few years ago has gone, even though the development he is talking about will no doubt affect the creative sector and creative entrepreneurs.
When it suits, the ‘digital industries’ are a part of the huge ‘creative industries’ umbrella. Other times, such as today, the digital industries are a separate entity, and according to Mr Brown today the ‘digital industries’ consists of scientists researching the semantic web. Video games programmers and film makers may have pricked their ears up at the mention of digital industries and be disappointed to find that scientists are going to get a nice £30m home to research the semantic web, apparently putting the UK at the cutting edge of research.
Once again definitions of what is creative and what is digital come to the fore, as well as questions of whether the creative industries and creative entrepreneurs are just flavours of the month once more.