Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 29th April 2019.

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Photo of Julian Knight Julian Knight Conservative, Solihull

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment his Department has made of the capability of tech businesses to tackle loneliness.

Photo of Mims Davies Mims Davies Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

The Government’s Loneliness Strategy stated that government would work with businesses to stimulate innovative solutions to loneliness across all ages, backgrounds and communities. To deliver on this commitment, government is engaging with tech businesses to explore what more can be done. For example, together with the Minister for Digital & Creative Industries, I recently hosted a roundtable with tech businesses focused on tackling loneliness using tech. The government is investing £1m in a Tech for Good Challenge Prize to further stimulate the capability of tech businesses to tackle social isolation. In April, DCMS started work with Nesta's Challenge Prize Centre to design the competition with the formal call for participants tentatively scheduled for June 2019. As part of the research and design of the project, DCMS is working closely with Buddy Hub, Digital Health and Care Alliance, No Isolation and Vodafone, who have publicly stated their aims and achievements in tackling loneliness.

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