A strategy to link research with media and digital industries is crucial, Elizabeth Gibney hears

Creative, digital and information technology (CDIT) industries must be just as important a policy focus for the government as science and engineering.

That is the view of David Docherty, chief executive of the Council for Industry and Higher Education, who said the digital field alone represented a $3 trillion (£1.9 trillion) marketplace globally.

“What’s needed is for CDIT to stand alongside STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics],” he told Times Higher Education.

Dr Docherty, who is also chairman of the Digital TV Group, was speaking ahead of Bridging the Gap, a conference organised by Teesside University and the skills agency Creative Skillset on how to improve the relationship between universities and media businesses.

He said the UK had been a leader in creative industries but had lost this premier position in the digital era. “How do we position ourselves to be as successful in the digital creative IT era as we are in broadcasting and production?” he asked.

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