Creative, Digital and IT Task Force

Creative, Digital and IT Task Force


The creative, digital and information technology (CDIT) industries form a multi-trillion dollar market. This Task Force set out to answer the question: 

How can the UK remain competitive in these growing global markets?


Please note: Positions listed are those held during the work of Task Force and not currently.


Rona Fairhead, CEO and Chair, Financial Times Group

Professor Christopher Snowden, Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive, University of Surrey

Business Members

Dr David Docherty CEO of CIHE, Chair of DTG Group

Mr Alan Jenkins, Managing Director, Kaplan Open Learning

Dr Bill Mitchell, Director, BCS - Chartered Institute for IT

Ms Anne Morrison, Director of the BBC Academy, BBC

Mr Gavin Patterson Director, BT Group plc, CEO BT Retail plc BT Retail, BT Group

Mr Peter Phillips Partner, Strategy & Market Developments, Ofcom

Dr Mike Short Vice President, Research and Development, O2

University Members

Mr Nigel Carrington, Rector, University of the Arts London

Professor Julian Crampton, Vice Chancellor, University of Brighton

Professor Geoffrey Crossick, Vice Chancellor, University of London

Professor David Frohlich Director, Digital World Research Centre, University of Surrey

Professor Adrian Hilton, School of Electronics and Physical Sciences, University of Surrey

Professor David Howard - Head of the Audio Laboratory, University of York

Professor Bernard King, Vice Chancellor, University of Abertay Dundee

Professor Elaine Thomas, Vice Chancellor, University for the Creative Arts

Expert Working Group

Mr Dominic Casserley, Director, McKinsey and Co

Ms Kate O’Connor, Executive Director, Skillset

Ms Davina Foord, Policy Advisor, Universities UK

Ms Liz Hollingworth, Research & Policy, e-Skills UK

Mr Phil Jones, Managing Director, Wired Sussex

Mr Rick Rylance, Chief Executive, Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)

Case Studies

Silicon Valley and Federal Funding

Interdisciplinarity – Engineers of the Future BBC Academy

HighWire: A Doctoral Training Centre Focusing on Innovation in the Digital Economy

Centre for Digital Entertainment

The University of Abertay Dundee and the Games Industry in Dundee

The University of Surrey and the Guildford Cluster

University of Surrey Games Spin-Out I Kinema

The Growth of the Digital Media Cluster in Brighton

University of Sussex, School of Informatics and Animazoo UK

Silicon South-West Cluster

DigitalCity in Teesside


Government and its agencies

The UK government and devolved administrations should acknowledge the CDIT industries as a strategic priority alongside STEM. The fusion of technology with the creative and digital industries is as vital to the UK’s economic growth as that of science, engineering and manufacturing and requires the same level of policy focus.

The UK government should understand and facilitate the right environment for successful CDIT ecosystems – in particular by maintaining funding within the arts and humanities, encouraging interdisciplinarity in higher education, and by reducing bureaucracy in university-business relationships.

The UK government should review its procurement policies and R&D tax credits to encourage CDIT startups, KTPs and clusters.

The UK government should build on the Technology Strategy Board’s interdisciplinary CDIT programmes, and in particular encourage engagement in the Digital Test Bed initiative.

Universities and Funding Bodies

The Funding Councils should give the same priority to technology-heavy CDIT programmes as they do to STEM projects.

Universities must embrace – and be rewarded for – the interdisciplinarity that is fundamental to the development of successful CDIT products, services, practices and content.

Universities must open themselves to more and better ways of working with graduate-rich small and medium-sized CDIT businesses.


CDIT businesses must contribute systematically to the development of courses for the graduates they hire, by working with universities to ensure a broad range of business ‘touch points’ for students.

Business-HE collaboration should be at the heart of the new Local Enterprise Partnerships.

Major CDIT businesses should build on best practice and work jointly with universities to help develop graduate rich SMEs.


The ICT curriculum in schools must be radically overhauled to ensure the pipeline to Higher Education and employment is improved.


The Task Force helped lead to the Brighton Fuse and London Fusion projects, directly influencing to over £6 million in funding for creative and digital projects in Brighton and London.

The third major Fuse project to stem from our Creative, Digital and IT Task Force is the North East Fuse, following on from the National Centre’s Brighton Fuse report.

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