TIGA, the trade association representing the UK video games industry, has identified the key policy announcements in today’s Queen’s Speech, which can be accessed here, and has provided a briefing below.
Skills and Post-16 Education Bill
The Skills and Post-16 Education Bill is dedicated to supporting a lifetime skills guarantee to enable flexible access to high quality education and training throughout people’s lives.
- The Bill is designed to enable people to access flexible funding for Higher or Further Education, bringing Universities and Further Education colleges closer together, and removing the bias against technical education.
- The Bill will also deliver the new Lifetime Skills Guaranteewhich will make Level-3 qualifications available to any adult who has not yet achieved one.
Research and Development
Key announcements include:
- The Government is investing £14.9 billion in R&D in 2021-22. This investment means Government R&D spending is now at its highest level in four decades. The Government have committed to increasing public expenditure on R&D to £22 billion, helping to deliver on the target to increase total UK R&D investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027.
- The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will publish an Innovation Strategy this summer to promote innovation across the UK.
Advanced Research and Invention Agency Bill
The key elements of the Bill include:
- Creating ARIA as a statutory corporation.
- Providing broad functions for ARIA to conduct, support or commission research related activities, with regard to the desirability of doing so for the benefit of the UK.
- Establishing an arm’s length relationship to Government, set out in ARIA’s procedure, membership and appointments processes, with limited information and direction rights for the Secretary of State.
Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill
Proposals will be taken forward to extend 5G mobile coverage and gigabit capable broadband. Proposals include:
- Providing a robust regulatory framework that can adapt and remain effective in the face of rapid technological advancement, the evolving techniques employed by malicious actors and the broader international regulatory landscape.
- Reforms to the Electronic Communications Code to support faster and more collaborative negotiations for the use of private and public land for telecommunications deployment, and to put the right framework in place for the use of installed apparatus.
Subsidy Control Bill
The key elements of this bill include:
- Creating a consistent set of UK-wide principles that public authorities must follow when granting subsidies.
- Prohibiting and placing conditions on certain types of subsidies which are at a particularly high risk of distorting markets.
- Establishing an independent subsidy control body to oversee the UK’s bespoke, modern subsidy control system.
- Providing for judicial oversight and enforcement of the granting of subsidies. Territorial extent and application
TIGA has submitted a response to the Government’s consultation on the new Subsidy Control Regime. Read a summary of our submission here.
Key announcements include:
- This new international educational exchange scheme will help level up opportunities by targeting students from disadvantaged backgrounds and areas which did not previously have many students benefiting from Erasmus+, making life-changing opportunities accessible to everyone across the country.
- The scheme will be global, with every country in the world eligible to partner up with UK institutions, unlike Erasmus+, which is EU-focused.
Draft Online Safety Bill
The key elements of the Draft Online Safety Bill include:
- Placing a duty of care on companies to improve the safety of their users online. This will require them to tackle illegal content on their services and to protect children from harmful content and activity online.
- Requiring platforms to have effective and accessible user reporting and redress mechanisms to report concerns about harmful content, and challenge infringement of rights (such as wrongful takedown).
Dr Richard Wilson OBE, TIGA CEO, commented on the Queen’s Speech:
“Today’s Queen’s Speech includes a number of Bills that are important for the creative and high technology industries, including the video games sector. The Subsidy Control Bill could enable subsidy providers to move nimbly, address market failures and remove obstacles that inhibit the growth of our high technology industries. The Advanced Research and Invention Agency Bill could promote the development of new technologies and industries. The Skills and Post-16 Education Bill should enable adults to retrain, enhance their skills and increase job opportunities. TIGA looks forward to engaging with Government and Parliament to ensure the growth, success and expansion of the UK video games industry.”
TIGA is the trade association representing the UK’s games industry. The majority of our members are either independent games developers or in-house publisher owned developers. We also have games publishers, outsourcing companies, technology businesses and universities amongst our membership. TIGA is an Investors in People organisation.
TIGA’s vision is to make the UK the best place in the world to do games business. We focus on four sets of activities: political representation, profile raising, enhancing education and developing services that enhance the competitiveness of our members. This means that TIGA members are effectively represented in the corridors of power, their voice is heard in the media and they receive benefits that make a material difference to their businesses.