Start-ups and jobs boost in Scotland with launch of IDEAScotland and £30m Scottish government investment

Facilities: IDEAScotland will be based in Dundee city centre

Digital, technology and creative media start-ups are to receive a boost with the launch of IDEAScotland, an innovation originally launched in London to provide new businesses with the facilities needed to drive growth.

IDEAScotland with launch in Dundee in a collaboration between DC Thomson, brightsolid, the University of Abertay and University of Dundee. The centre will offer virtual networking access, equipment, business mentoring and free workspace from its base at the University of Abertay in Dundee city centre.

The city is known for its gaming scene and was the birthplace of Grand Theft Auto, Lemmings and Minecraft for the Xbox 360, making it one of Scotland's digital hotspots. The digital media sector in Scotland is estimated to provide more than 40,000 jobs and makes up approximately 65 per cent of the nation's creative industries.

Richard Hall, director of DC Thomson, said: "DC Thomson has a long and successful history of supporting small businesses in reaching their potential. IDEAScotland represents and exciting opportunity to further promote digital entrepreneurs in the UK, in particular Dundee."

IDEALondon was launched at Tech City in Shoreditch in December last year and will work closely with IDEAScotland. The London initiative adds to a number of others in the city aiming to strengthen the position of start-ups and help them compete in the rapidly growing digital market.

The first-year success of Google's Campus project was said to have helped start-ups increase staff by as much as 25 per cent, boosting the growing London digital jobs market.

Director of business development at Abertay University, Paul Durrant, said: "IDEAScotland builds on our successful UK Prototype Fund in investing in digital start-ups and we look forward to supporting exciting new companies that have the potential for rapid growth with the support of the partners and investors."

The news was announced as the Scottish government revealed a £30m investment into the creation of three new technology and health innovation centres, expected to create up to 2,000 jobs in the digital and technology sectors.

First minister Alex Salmond commented: "Scotland has always been a world leader in innovation and this new funding of £30m, made through the Scottish Funding Council, for the innovation centres reinforces the Scottish government's commitment to science and technology and secures Scotland's place as a world leader in life sciences, innovative technology, ideas and development."

Deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon announced nearly a quarter of a billion pounds of investment into improving broadband services, expected to help create around 15,000 digital jobs in the wider economy over a 15-year period. Areas throughout the UK have seen national and local government investment into the digital and technology sectors, which are expected to become a major driving force for the future UK economy.

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