TechUK launches the "Securing our Digital Future" manifesto as it happened: News, pictures and analysis

ITProPortal is in central London, attending an event that's got plenty of heads turning over the last few days.

TechUK, a trade association supported by over 800 companies in the technology sector, has invited a panel of politicians (and us) to discuss Britain's digital future.

Read more: Dragon's Den star will "reform UK tech industry" in new government role

Ed Vaizey MP, the minister for culture and digital industries, Iain Wright MP, the shadow business minister and Lord Clement-Jones CBE, a Liberal Democrat peer and member of the Lords Communications Committee, will take the stage with the CEO and head of policy of TechUK and try not to look silly.

TechUK has just published a manifesto entitled "Securing our Digital Future", and it calls for the government to make a number of drastic changes to policy, as far as the digital sector is concerned. It's also pretty demanding.

We're bound to see some really intriguing arguments, not least because of the fact that the future of Britain as a whole is currently up in the air.

Read more: TechUK calls for government to ensure a bright digital future

We'll be in the crowd, praying to the Wi-Fi gods for a fast, reliable connection and gathering every little nugget of wisdom tossed down to us.

Get involved in proceedings via the comments area below, as well as through Twitter and Facebook.

  • 16 September
  • 18:29

    Julian: "If we get the next five years right, we'll be able to secure our future for the next thirty too."

  • 18:27

    And we're out of time.

  • 18:26

    Charlotte: "There's absolutely no room for complacency."

  • 18:25

    Iain: "There needs to be a new arrangement between citizen and state."

  • Porthole Ad

  • 18:25

    Iain: "I'm inherently suspicious of this 'right to be forgotten.'"

  • 18:23

    Lord Tim: "I'm very much in favour of an open Internet too, so there's a balance to be struck."

  • 18:22

    Lord Tim: "Building trust is a really important issue now. We need to create a digital Bill of Rights."

  • 18:20

    Aha, here comes Snowden.

  • 18:17

    Lord Tim: "We need education. Our civil servants aren't very well-versed in digital security."

  • 18:16

    Iain: "If we're going to be competitive in the future, the open environment is really exciting."

  • 18:13

    Hang on, TechUK CEO Julian David has popped up too.

    "TechUK believes in open data."

  • 18:12

    Question about data coming up...

  • 18:11

    Iain: "We want people who have gained skills here to stay and use their talent to create businesses and jobs."

  • 18:10

    Ed's gone, but Iain and Lord Tim have been joined by Charlotte Holloway, the head of policy at TechUK, on stage.

  • 18:09

  • 18:09

    Question time.

  • 18:04

    "It's important to remain a member of the EU. Arguing about membership is absolutely futile."

  • 18:03

    "Cities need to be given greater powers, especially when it comes to finance."

  • 18:01

    He's right behind a smart migration scheme, in which people with something to offer will be given more freedom.

  • 18:01

    "We've got to change our policies for overseas students."

  • 18:00

    Grants need to be expanded and increased.

  • 18:00

    "We need to keep up the pace with apprenticeships."

  • 17:59

    "Crowdfunding and alternative funding models need to be encouraged."

  • 17:59

    "We need more entrants in the banking sector."

  • 17:58

  • 17:56

    Here comes Lord Clement-Jones.

  • 17:55

    Iain's out.

  • 17:55

    "There's a lot to do."

  • 17:54

    "The government should be relentless in its focus."

  • 17:54

    "The United Kingdom is better together."

  • 17:53

  • 17:52

    That's not quite been a roaring success.

  • 17:52

    "We need to give small firms a chance to compete." Anyone heard of G-Cloud?

  • 17:51

    "Procurement can be a real driver of government objectives."

  • 17:49

    "We need to make sure that people don't get left behind, but more needs to be done."

  • 17:49

    "People in my own constituency in the north-east, there's people who have never even switched a computer on."

  • 17:48

    Not completely sure about that. We have some terrific startups in the UK with serious talent and ambitions.

  • 17:47

    "We don't scale up our companies as much as we should."

  • 17:46

    A productivity gap is opening between the UK and our rivals.

  • 17:46

    "Often in government it's too much about short-termism."

  • 17:45

    "The next Labour government will ensure this."

  • 17:45

    "We've made some real progress in the last few years."

  • 17:44

    An active government needs to invest for the long-term in the industry.

  • 17:43

    "We are the tech hub of Europe!"

  • 17:43

  • 17:43

    There's billions to be made from truly embracing technology.

  • 17:42

    "There are huge opportunities available right now."

  • 17:41

    Ed's off. Here comes Iain Wright, the shadow business minister.

  • 17:41

    TechUK proposes that a digital minister should be part of each and every governmental department.

  • 17:35

    Some expert question-dodging already... Not much word on the government's data collection practices.

  • 17:34

  • 17:33

    "Data is the new currency for businesses."

  • 17:32

    Digital services is one of the best things this government has done. Far easier for citizens to engage with authorities this way.

  • 17:29

    How effective has it been? Is there any way of actually monitoring this?

  • 17:29

    The Cyber-Streetwise campaign improves the knowledge of the public.

  • 17:27

    "Tech City is not just a place in Shoreditch."

  • 17:27

  • 17:25

    "We're one of the first to make coding part of the curriculum."

  • 17:25

    "We do have a lot of skills but we need to keep working on it."

  • 17:25

    "We feel very strongly about skills."

  • 17:23

    Ed Vaizey's up on stage. He hasn't got long here though.

  • 17:21

    Not really.

  • 17:21

    The next government has the chance to make the UK a world-leader in terms of data protection. Is this likely to happen though?

  • 17:21

  • 17:20

    The online world has to be made safer. Loss of privacy is seen as a major drawback of innovation.

  • 17:19

    However, the next government has a lot to do.

  • 17:19

    "The current government should be applauded."

  • 17:17

    The Internet of Things too. This is serious business.

  • 17:16

  • 17:16

    The so-called "digital skills gap" has been mentioned.

  • 17:15

    Universities will also play a big part in the digital revolution, apparently. We do have some gems on our shores.

  • 17:14

  • 17:13

    "Significant resources will have to be mobilised."

  • 17:11

    "We need to drive the use of digital technology and transform the public sector."

  • 17:11

  • 17:10

    We need this to be a UK proposition, not just a London one. Hear hear.

  • 17:10

    "Progress has been made but there are serious gaps."

  • 17:09

    "Secure our digital future" is the event's tagline.

  • 17:09

    "We face four huge challenges."

    These are: recovering the UK's economy, increasing the UK's productivity, creating new jobs and making sure the whole of the population is included.

  • 17:07

    It's showtime.

  • 17:07

    The host has just uttered the words "without further ado."

  • 17:06

    We're just getting settled over here...

  • 16:06

    Anyway, we're going to make our way over to the venue and look to establish a decent Wi-Fi connection. Catch you on the other side.

  • 15:53

    If anything, this could be more relevant to you than anything we've seen over the past couple of weeks. Since September's a major month in the world of technology, that's no mean feat.

  • 15:46

    Today's event isn't quite your typical tech conference.

  • 15:43

    Hello readers and welcome to ITProPortal's latest piece of live coverage.