Scotland is calling for the creation of its own internet domain and hopes to secure the backing of the UK government.

Dot Scot Registry (DSR) was first created two years ago in a bid to help secure .scot as a domain name for websites based in the country. The Scottish government has stepped up its backing for the non-profit organisation after International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) revealed it will accept applications for new top level domains from January 12.

Furthermore, Alex Neil, Scotland's cabinet secretary for infrastructure and capital investment has written to the UK's Culture minister, Ed Vaizey, in a bid to secure his support for the domain name.

"The Scottish Government is behind this company because we believe there is strong demand for a .Scot domain and that it should be run as a public resource on a not-for-profit basis that will quickly become self-financing," Neil said. "I am sure the UK government with its responsibility for internet governance will want to support us. Across the board support would undoubtedly strengthen our hand and build momentum behind the bid."

Neil also believes the domain name will be "a wonderful asset for establishing a distinctive online identity for many organisations and people who have been described as the worldwide family of Scots and want to demonstrate that identity online".

Chief executive of the Inverness Chamber of Commerce, Stewart Nicol, added .Scot would ensure the country has "a local identity over the internet".