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Companies invited to contribute to ambitious new digital strategy

29 November 2018

Local organisations with an interest in promoting digital innovation are being invited to attend a workshop next week as part of the Digital Cities Challenge.

The workshop, which takes place on Thursday December 6th, will be led by Derry City and Strabane District Council working in conjunction with ERNACT, and is aimed at establishing the framework of an effective digital strategy for the city.

Derry City and Strabane District Council was selected by the European Union in January to participate in the Digital Cities Challenge (DCC) to further the digital development of the city. This will in turn act as a mechanism for driving social and economic transformation which will impact on all aspects of life here.

Speaking ahead of the event, Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Councillor John Boyle, said partnership would be key to the development of a successful digital plan.

“The Digital Cities Challenge presents a fantastic opportunity to strengthen our connections with like-minded cities with a strong digital focus across Europe,” he explained.

“We have been proactively engaging all sectors within the local community to ensure the development and implementation of digital policies that are cohesive, focused and effective. I would encourage anyone with an interest in digital innovation to come along and contribute to the generation of a strategy that reflects the ambition of our Strategic Growth Plan and promotes the digital and economic development of our city region.”

Council’s Head of Business, Kevin O’Connor, said the workshop signalled the second phase of the challenge. “Throughout the summer the first phase of our Digital Cities Challenge was completed, which sourced the information from our partners in local government, industry, finance, academia, community and social spheres, to complete the vision for our city.

“Now this stage has reached completion, we move to the next milestone - the development of a clearly defined strategy to realise these objectives. We are calling on all local stakeholders to take this opportunity to contribute to the design and implementation of a plan that will effectively target areas which will help us reach our digital goals.”

Following initial consultation with stakeholders, vision statements have already been peer-reviewed by the Digital Cities Challenge experts and other participating cities. The December Strategy workshop will focus on reviewing these statements and identifying a blueprint that will shape the way forward in realising these objectives, as well as the means of monitoring its progress.

Among the areas prioritised is the need to create a service-driven smart city environment that is inclusive, transparent and sustainable, using existing and future datasets and technologies to support and improve the lives of citizens and businesses. The creation of a continuously evolving digital skills environment that delivers the inclusive talent pipeline needed by employers, is also a key focus, along with establishing a Digital Creative Hub appealing to the leading creative and non-creative software companies.

Once generated the plan will be broken down into a collection of funded projects which can be implemented and measured.

The workshop takes place on Thursday 6th December from 9am – 12.30pm, Catalyst Inc. with coffee and registration from 9am – 9.30am, and lunch provided at 12.30pm, to register go to www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/digital-cities-challenge-strategy-workshop-tickets-52954836341

For more information about the Digital Cities Challenge, please visit https://www.digitallytransformyourregion.eu/