ICT in the West Midlands
Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is a key driver of economic growth. In the West Midlands the sector consists of more than 3,000 companies employing 57,000 people with a turnover of £4 billion or 5.4 per cent of the UK's overall ICT output.
ICT contributes around six per cent of the region's economic output and the West Midlands is home to major names such as IBM, Fujitsu, Oracle and CSC.
The use of ICT across all sectors of the West Midlands economy has the potential to increase regional output by £3 billion through improvements to productivity and innovation.
Digital West Midlands - the regional ICT strategy
The regional ICT strategy - Digital West Midlands - provides a framework for the development and exploitation of ICT within the public, private and voluntary sectors. This has been produced by the regional ICT Steering Group and is supported by the ICT Operational Group.
The Strategy is available in full, or in a summary version from the 'Related documents' on the right.
The provision of universal broadband across the region has been achieved with the completion of the Rural Broadband Access Project administered by the West Midlands Networking Company.
It is not Advantage West Midlands' policy to invest further in this infrastructure or in next generation broadband. Our focus now is on increasing the take-up and use of ICT to achieve benefits in productivity and economic growth.
Advantage West Midlands has recently sponsored a major new service with Business Link to encourage SME’s to make effective use of IT technologies in their business processes. The new ICT Specialist Advisory service from Business Link will offer entirely independent expert advice on the exploitation of ICT within each organisation, as well as conducting a series of self help events and seminars.
The role of Advantage West Midlands in strengthening ICT
Advantage West Midlands funds a number of schemes and initiatives to support ICT companies in the region. Suppliers of ICT products and services are supported by the West Midlands ICT Cluster while companies involved in the creation of digital content are supported by the Screen, Image and Sound Cluster.
Advantage West Midlands funds a £3 million e-business programme focussing on increasing the take up of ICT which is delivered by the National B2B Centre and IT Futures
All financial support offered through Advantage West Midlands is provided in accordance with State Aid rules.