Growth of Scotland’s digital industry the aim of new service

SCOTLAND’S digital media industry has a new champion in the shape of a support service and network hoping to help companies develop new products and secure new business.

Interactive Scotland has been launched by national economic development agency, Scottish Enterprise, also in the hope of encouraging companies to work together and share ideas.

Says Scottish Enterprise: “Developing skills within the industry is also part of the service, plus keeping companies informed of the opportunities that exist on new technology platforms, in the UK and internationally, and helping them find untapped markets overseas and secure fresh sources of investment.”

Interactive Scotland is aimed at companies working in design/advertising, mobile, interactive software, internet, gaming, broadcast services, film, video production, exhibition services, next generation learning, and music and publishing.

Says Scottish Enterprise’s Terry Hurley: “I’d encourage companies to make contact with Interactive Scotland if they have an ambition to grow their business. Technology is radically changing the market for digital media content in an unprecedented manner, with Scotland well placed to exploit these opportunities. The proliferation of new technology devices has created exciting opportunities for new content and software services that can be accessed through new delivery channels.

“Smaller businesses are often at the forefront in developing innovative content, but don’t necessarily have relationships with the larger companies and consumers hungry for this new content. We want to ensure that our companies are able to exploit these opportunities and maintain Scotland’s reputation for rapid, commercially successful innovation in global digital media markets.”

Interactive Scotland has a dedicated team of expert advisors able to provide:

* tailored, in-depth marketing research and intelligence based on advisors’ industry contacts and latest market sources;

* expertise in the areas of concept, feasibility, validation and development to take ideas to market;

* expert advice to shape business models and appropriate routes to market; and

* access to an unrivalled network of international partner contacts for commercial sales opportunities, specialist funding, technical diligence, product development and market intelligence.

Latest figures, from four years ago, reveal that the digital media and software sectors in Scotland employ over 42,000 people in over 5000 companies, with a combined turnover of £3.16 billion per annum.

Scotland is home to games companies which have made a significant global impact such as Realtime Worlds (securing $81 million of venture capital since 2006) and Rockstar North (developers of the fastest-selling global entertainment product of all time: the video game, Grand Theft Auto IV).

Both Dundee and Glasgow have dedicated ‘digital quarters’.

The Seabraes Yards development in Dundee is located next to the city’s cultural quarter. The purpose-built, 20-acre, city centre site provides high-quality accommodation for start-ups, indigenous businesses and inward investors in the creative industries. Some £50 million is set to be injected into the area over the next ten years, to provide a further boost to Tayside’s already successful and fast growing digital media and creative industries sectors.

The Pacific Quay area of Glasgow is being developed as a national hub for media, technology and creative businesses in Scotland – encouraging collaborative partnerships and ideas generation between companies at a local and international level. To date, Scottish Enterprise has invested £55 million in the area, leveraging further investment of over £250 million.

Key anchor tenants at Pacific Quay include BBC Scotland – featuring the most advanced broadcasting centre in Europe – Scottish Television, Glasgow Science Centre and radio station, Galaxy Scotland. The Hub building is home to a variety of digital media businesses, including the Glasgow School of Art’s Digital Design Studios and major TV production company, Shed Media Scotland. Film City Glasgow – a partnership project with Glasgow City Council – houses some of the top production and post-production companies and facilities in the country, such as Keo North, Sigma Films, Serious Facilities and Savalas.