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Last Updated: Saturday, 1 September 2007, 00:00 GMT 01:00 UK
Legacy warning for digital Dundee
Broadband
Dundee was told 'digital inclusion' was one of its biggest challenges
One of the world's leading digital experts has urged Dundee to train more unemployed people in new technology to combat manufacturing job cuts.

Hundreds of posts have been axed in the city in recent years. However, it has seen a rise in knowledge-based industries and was recently named one of the world's top seven "intelligent communities".

Louis Zacharilla from the Intelligent Community Forum has warned Dundee "not to rest on its legacy".

He was representing the prestigious New-York based think tank at a conference of experts, business leaders and government officials being held in Dundee.

Mr Zacharilla praised Dundee's efforts to reinvent itself as a post-industrial city.

It needs to look at the underserved population, in schools and universities and ask 'how to we address this'?
Louis Zacharilla
Intelligent Communities Forum

He told the BBC Scotland news website: "Places like Dundee have high unemployment and didn't anticipate it.

"It is a community which understands information is a new infrastructure, and is trying to identify where to take it.

"Dundee is incubating biotechnology and games industries to create the engine to produce jobs."

However, Mr Zacharilla urged leaders to beware of "leaving people behind" in Dundee's digital revolution.

'Work in progress'

He added that one of the city's most important challenges was "digital inclusion".

Mr Zacharilla said: "Dundee has still got issues. It is a work in progress, and needs to develop another plan or a five years strategy, depending on where the challenges are.

"It needs to look at the under-served population, in schools and universities and ask 'how to we address this'?

The whole city is broadband enabled, all libraries have internet access, and electronic whiteboards and computers are being used in schools
Dundee Council spokesman

"It can't get to a point where you say 'game over'. Dundee is going to have to do things more significant and can't get too comfortable.

"Adaptability, not legacy, is the essential component in intelligent communities."

A Dundee Council spokesman told the BBC Scotland news website steps were being taken to ensure everyone had access to new technology.

He said: "The whole city is broadband enabled, all libraries have internet access, and electronic whiteboards and computers are being used in schools."

The spokesman added that Dundee was competing to be named the world's most intelligent city in 2008.

The title for 2007 was awarded to Waterloo in Canada, where the Blackberry was invented.


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