UK government wants to become a ‘smartphone state’

UK government wants to become a ‘smartphone state’

The UK’s Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey has taken to Twitter to tap the crowd for ideas ahead of the government drafting its next five year tech strategy.

Having ploughed millions into East London’s ‘Tech City’ and wandered around the world with ‘Great Britain’ flags flying, the government is now shaping what the next five years in tech will look like.

Interestingly, given that a vote on the UK’s membership of the EU is being pushed for by members of parliament from both major parties, Vaizey says part of the plan is to ensure the completion of the Digital Single Market in Europe.

Vaizey takes aim at the US, “when the US government created they copied our model” he boasts, and says the next leg of digital government transformation will see the UK become a “smartphone state.”

Giving a hat tilt to the likes of Amazon, Vaizey wants renewing your passport to be as easy as ordering a book online, which is perhaps why he’s suggested delivery drones might be the next innovation UK government makes use of.

The next fives years could also spell the end of education as we know it, with the suggestion that schools could benefit from the delivery of lessons as online courses.

Vaizey has asked for contributions from the public on four key areas: unlocking digital growth, transforming government, transforming day-to-day life and building the foundations.

The latter of which, when you remove the government jargon title, is around ensuring everyone has online access and the skills to ‘do digital.’

Come 2020, undoubtedly the UK landscape will have changed to be firmly in the digital age. But how do you want to shape that? Government has ideas and ambitions but as Tech City UK back in 2010 shows, the ideas are out there. So challenge us – push us to do more. Let’s show the rest of the world how it’s done.

Answers on a postcard here by January 19 2016.

UK Digital Strategy – the next frontier in our digital revolution [GOV.UK]

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