Information Technology Year 1982

Information Technology Year was a joint venture by Government and Industry to mount a nationwide awareness campaign on the use and application of IT In all sectors of the community. An IT82 Committee was set up under the Chairmanship of Alan Benjamen and was sponsored by Government, Industry, Trade and Commerce. The members of the Committee decided the policy and planning and a number of specialist areas were represented including business and industry, media, education, health, Government and Parliament etc. As well as the main  Committee there were nine regional committees which looked after IT events in their area.
 
On the Government side IT Promotion was considered so important that they appointed a Minister of State for Information and Technology - Mr. Kenneth Baker. A member of the then 1982 Committee; Alistair Macdonald was appointed head of the IT Division and Dr. Thynne headed the section that looked after Department of Industry activities in IT Year.
  
One of the IT82 Committee's activities during the year was to take stands at a number of major exhibitions, the theme being how IT affects the individual in various aspects of life, school, work, home, shop, bank and health. The first exhibition at which the IT82 Committee took a stand was at the Which Computer Show. There was a tremendous amount of interest in what IT year was about and what the Government was doing to promote the new technology. Tremendous response was received from teachers who were interested in the Department's Micro in Schools Scheme and the new IT Centres which were being advertised on Prestel pages 8822. The Department of Industry also took stands at a number of exhibitions as part of it's activities during the year. They showed applications of IT in Government and gave details of sponsorship schemes in the new technology such as IT, CADCAM, ROBOTICS and MAP. These were advertised on Prestel pages 204. Government sponsorship in these areas amounted to around 80 million over the following four years. 

A number of other organisations took an active part in IT82. The Science Museum held a special summer event to demonstrate Information Technology. The Design Council staged an exhibition called "Inside Information" in London in May 1982 which later toured other regions. Various competitions were organised throughout the year and the British Medical Association (BMA) offered monthly prizes for the most enterprising use of IT in health.

The Post Office issued a set of two stamps in September 1982.
  
The Department sponsored six mobile exhibition units which were managed by the National Computing Centre in Manchester. They toured the country and displayed all forms of the latest electronic office and communication equipment. The mobile exhibitions were booked by schools, polytechnics and Chambers of Commerce among others. One of the exhibition units was at the Which Computer Show in January 1982 and proved very popular indeed.
  
Companies can use IT Year to promote their products by emphasising their link with IT through their products or service and perhaps run seminars, or use the logo. Many people are alrady using the logo and it will become a well known feature throughout the year. If anyone wishes to participate in some way and would like to discuss it they can get in touch with Roy Dingle at the IT Office in 19 Bedford Row. The department can help with Government leaflets on sponsorship for seminars and IT82 are holding a data bank on people willing to speak at seminars. 
It is hoped that this year will stimulate a real awareness of the new technologies so that everyone generally accepts and uses them. The Prime Minister said at the launch of IT Year that the future prosperity of Britain depended on our being bang up to date in the latest technology and preferably one step ahead. The young certainly accept new technology, you only have to go into shops where there are machines to play with and the youngsters are there. I would like to close with a letter my section received the other day. It was in response to Kenneth Baker's article in the Radio Times at the launching of the BBC Computer Literacy Project. 

 

 

 

In 1982 the British government launched a £3.75m initiative to promote the use of micro computers in business, education and health. The initiative was called 'Information Technology 82' and consisted of a series of events around the United Kingdom, short informative videos and booklets.

It was funded with private sector and government money. 
 
The events included an exhibition at the Science Museum from April to August 1982, as well as many smaller regional exhibitions of the technology of the time. These exhibitions highlighted the computing hardware that was currently available, demonstrations of software, and talks around the advantages of 'computerising your business'.
   
Information technology centres were set-up to provide computer training with many courses aimed at young people. Summer camps we also set-up specifically to help engage with children.
 
To commemorate this initiative the Post Office released a set of stamps and first day covers.
 

Date : 1982

This exhibit has a reference ID of CH49343. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.
 

Information Technology Year 1982

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