Digital plan for NI

RDA Invest Northern Ireland has launched the Northern Ireland Digital Content Strategy, a framework for developing the high-potential digital content sector in Northern Ireland.

The plan identifies the key issues facing the sector and proposes a co-ordinated approach to address these, by engaging industry, government, higher education, research institutes and other stakeholder groups.

It also sets targets for the creation of new digital content businesses and for increasing export levels in the sector over the next three years.

Stephen Kingon, chairman of Invest NI, said: ‘The digital content industry worldwide is growing faster than traditional industries, with rates of 10 per cent growth per year forecast. This strategy has been developed by Invest NI to ensure that our local digital content industry will have the opportunity and the support it needs to succeed in global markets and become a major contributor to our economy.

‘Digital content is becoming an increasingly important part of growing economies as they move away from the manufacture of physical items to a knowledge driven base. For some time the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment has taken the lead in encouraging the development of innovative content by the Northern Ireland creative sector, in order to take advantage of our 100 per cent broadband coverage.

‘Increased competition from overseas will mean that our local industry will find it difficult to compete if it is not prepared with a clear and focused agenda. This strategy, developed by Invest Northern Ireland in consultation with the industry, will help develop what is a relatively young and emerging sector in Northern Ireland into one which is vibrant and successful internationally.’

The strategy was informed by research undertaken by Invest NI which identified a number of areas for development within the sector including leadership, investment, skills and training, R&D and innovation, and internationalisation.

The areas that have the greatest growth potential have been identified as digital animation, mobile and web content, plus e-learning and serious gaming.