A new initiative called Digital Birmingham is being launched on Valentine's Day, aimed at making technology as accessible as possible for all members of society.
The event will take place in the city's Victoria Square, where a "technology tent" will display the latest technological developments.
Members of the public will be invited to use a free cyber cafe and consult with an IT expert who will be on hand to answer any digital queries you have.
A gadget stand will also offer easy to understand introductions to new technologies such as iPods, Blackberries, Wi-Fi and broadband.
The Digital Birmingham initiative is the culmination of the work of 20 different partners in the public, private and voluntary sectors who are working to make the city the leading European Digital city by 2010.
BIRMINGHAM LEADS THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION
This year, February 14th isn’t just about Valentine’s Day, it’s also the launch date of Digital Birmingham.
07 February 2006
Digital Birmingham is a unique public, private and voluntary sector initiative being driven by a number of organisations including; Birmingham City Council, BT, Telewest, the BBC, Birmingham Post & Mail, Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Birmingham Voluntary Service Council to name but a few. The aim of the initiative is to help Birmingham make the transition from an industrial city to a digital city, leading the way in advanced communication, information and digital technology.
Digital Birmingham aims to exploit the development of global digital technologies to improve and deliver real benefits that meet the needs of local businesses, communities and citizens of Birmingham. The initiative aims to improve the quality of life by harnessing the true potential of existing technologies and using them in different ways to make services more readily available and accessible. The initiative also aims to pioneer the use of new technologies to enable businesses to work faster, smarter and more cost-effectively.
2006 has been declared the year of Digital Birmingham and a strategic programme of events and activities will be rolled out throughout the year to make this happen. It all starts on Valentine’s Day with a public launch that takes place in Victoria Square. The event aims to engage citizens of Birmingham by raising their awareness of Digital Birmingham and the city’s aspirations. There will be a large ‘technology tent’ in front of the Council House in Victoria Square with exhibitors demonstrating a range of different digital technologies and their many uses. From a ‘digital health clinic’ to a ‘gadget stand’ showing the very latest in day-to-day digital technologies. There will also be a free cyber café and ‘gaming technologies’ catering for young and old. The BBC will also be present on the day with a roving reporter and camera crew finding out what the citizens of Birmingham think of digital technology and what they love about the city of Birmingham.
A separate launch of Digital Birmingham will be made to the business sector later on this year where businesses will be able to learn more about the initiative and will be invited to get actively involved.
Digital Birmingham will also be responding to the National ‘Digital Challenge’ which has been made to all local authority led partnerships to demonstrate a deliverable vision of how digital technologies can be used in the future to help deliver better services and connect businesses and communities. The successful local authority will be awarded £7million to help deliver their strategy and become a leading digital city. Digital Birmingham needs you and your business to get on board and support Birmingham’s bid that will be submitted in April.
There will be substantial business benefits to being part of the digital revolution. From gaining access to new emerging markets to increasing competitive advantage and market share. This will also mean a greater skilled work force to meet the needs of demand in the market place and greater connected partnerships and cross sector working.
Councillor Paul Tilsley, Chairman of the Executive Board of Digital Birmingham said:-
"There has never been a better time to be a business in Birmingham. The city is growing from strength-to-strength and is receiving lots of positive recognition on an international and global stage.
The digital revolution is already here, we just have to leverage the most from it by embracing it and harnessing it so it delivers to the needs of every business and citizen of Birmingham.
Digital Birmingham is the way forward and the next big step for the city and that is why there’s never been a more appropriate time for businesses to get involved. Digital Birmingham will be looking to businesses, commerce and industry to help drive Birmingham through the digital revolution and bridge the ‘digital divide’ helping Birmingham become a leading European digital city by 2010".
Having won many accolades already, including ‘Science City’ status, recognising that the city has some of the best scientific knowledge and forward thinking pioneers in the world and being voted the most advanced city in Europe in provision of E-Governance. Birmingham looks set to be on the brink of yet another transformation leading the way in the digital revolution. Securing digital city status will compliment existing achievements and will have advantages for businesses in Birmingham.
The strap-line for Digital Birmingham - ‘Going Global, Looking Local’ epitomises the benefits of joining the digital revolution now and bridging the ‘digital divide’. With an emphasis firmly routed on making the city a global player in world-markets, yet maintaining the locality and friendliness of a local city the initiative is sure to be a success.
Digital Birmingham is here and your business will determine its success. There will be more on Digital Birmingham and the developments on the ‘Digital Challenge’ bid in the coming months. Invitations to the business launch will also be sent out following the public launch. However, if you can’t wait until then why not visit the ‘technology tent’ in Victoria Square on Valentine’s Day and find out more or alternatively visit www.digitalbirmingham.co.uk.
We are keen to hear what the people and businesses of Birmingham want for the future so if you would like to have your say on how you think Digital Birmingham can help drive the city forward towards its goal of becoming a leading digital city e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.