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Digital can overcome Shetland’s obstacles

I read with surprise your recent article on the SIC's "ambitious" ten year plan (Ten year plan to boost isles' economy; SN, 27/09/2017).

There is almost no mention whatsoever on the role technology must play in this community's prosperity.

Whilst I applaud many of the objectives including the acknowledgement that we must attract and grow talent, ease travel and encourage entrepreneurs, I am baffled that the SIC has made no mention of our potential as a technology centre. Of all things, software development is an ideal industry for Shetland.

To quote the article: "Opportunities to diversify the economy are challenging, mainly due to the cost factors associated with supply of materials and labour and the added costs of shipping/exporting goods and services".

Software development and other digital products such as provided by Mesomorphic, NB Communication and Hot Gecko, require few if any raw materials.

Existing infrastructure is more than capable of supporting this type of business. Our exports are entirely digital. What better way to overcome Shetland's obstacles when it comes to competing on the world stage?

Despite this glaring oversight, I am encouraged by many of the aspects put forward. Mesomorphic and I very much share many of these ideals, and look forward to supporting the SIC in its objectives.

Barnaby Mercer
Managing director


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