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Marc Strathie, Research and Policy Manager, ScotlandIS

Steering the vision for the digital and tech community

My first month in post as Research and Policy Manager has been a busy but rewarding period! The month of June has seen the formation of our Cross-Sectoral Digital Steering Group, which will meet for the first time in July. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted to many industries across Scotland the need for a digital capability and transformation programme to ensure each sector across Scotland continues to be a pillar of our society and economy. ScotlandIS look forward to collaborating with sectors across Scotland to ensure these ambitions are realised for a truly digitally leading nation.

We are also excited to announce that ScotlandIS will now have a dedicated Policy Steering Group which will help to shape and feed into the Policy vision for ScotlandIS moving forward. The views of ScotlandIS members are reflected in the development of our ongoing policy positions that we take. The digital economy has been a key part of policy making in the last few years and ScotlandIS has been a trusted voice throughout this process. The adoption of the Policy Steering Group will allow an even greater voice for digital and tech community going forward. 

The wider team and I at ScotlandIS have been in regular contact with the digital economy team and Digital Directorate at Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise. In addition, we also work closely with the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. 

In the month of June, ScotlandIS have responded to several consultations on behalf of our members. These have included; DCMS, Scottish Affairs Committee and BEIS. We are using these responses to provide feedback to Scottish and UK Governments and relevant agencies to make sure that their support schemes and exit strategy planning respond to our sector’s needs. ScotlandIS are passionate about ensuring the digital and tech community continue to be in the best position to continue to enjoy growth, as well as leading Scotland towards a post-Covid 19 recovery phase. 

June also saw the launch of our Cyber benchmarking survey. This survey will help us gain better insight into Scotland’s cyber security sector.  It will also help us understand the current status and baseline it for future comparison. The Head of Cyber, Ciara Mitchell and I have been in conversations with both DCMS and other Cyber clusters across the UK as part of the engagement process. By helping us map the sector, it will help us support you and your business better.

ScotlandIS have also been asked to participate in the scoping exercise for Migration Policy Scotland, which will seek to determine how Scotland’s post-Brexit Immigration system should work. Migration Policy has been a key priority for our members over the years and the need for access to talent. We look forward to representing our members and ensuring that Scotland have a migration system that is fit for purpose.

A recent development of our Research work in June is the launch of a ClimateTech paper in which we highlight the benefits of ClimateTech to Scotland, both environmentally and economically. Climate tech can encompass everything from geospatial data analytics to sensor technology and pure energy tech. Clean technologies have the potential to help boost productivity and generate higher economic growth. We look forward to launching this paper and gathering feedback from our members on their thoughts and potential opportunities for collaboration on this. 

If you would like to get involved in our ongoing Research and Policy work, stakeholder engagement and public affairs activity, then please do not hesitate to get in contact with myself. 

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