Key report into north east's tech sector is released
Three of the region’s most influential tech organisations have collaborated to release a report outlining the sector’s successes over the last 12 months.
Senior teams from tech network Dynamo, tech support agency Generator and Sunderland Software City contributed to an updated One Region, One Sector, One Statement, that was first published last year.
This year’s 24-page statement also includes contributions and oversight from the North East LEP, Tech Nation, Gateshead Council, Invest North East, Tech North East, Digital Union and creative agency JUMP.
“We wanted to produce a document that presented a broad, positive picture of the north east’s digital and tech sector. We want this year’s One Region, One Sector, One Statement (OROSOS) to be used by everyone promoting the region – it demonstrates the wide range of great companies working in the sector, and its growing importance to the regional economy,” said Hannah Matterson, the new Chief Executive at Generator
“We want those in education to show students of any age what amazing opportunities there are here; we want new start-ups and job seekers to realise the breadth of what there is in the North East and the strength of our tech sector. We want investors from around the UK to recognise we have a serious range of opportunities, and for people to realise how much we mean to the economy and the community,” she added.
The statement was going to be launched at the North East Digital Festival, which was due to be held this month, but was cancelled because of the spread of COVID-19.
“The statement gives updates about the main developments in the sector throughout the past year. We were obviously delighted to see that the BBC has chosen to open its Tech Hub in the North East; in Middlesbrough we saw the announcement of Boho Next Generation, which will add to one of the most exciting digital campuses in the UK; across the Tees Valley there has been the expansion of the DigitalCity initiative while on Wearside we had the launch of a Sunderland Software City driven initiative, the North East Digital Festival, which we know will go from strength to strength,” explained Jill McKinney, Training and Delivery Manager at Sunderland Software City.
The statement outlines the amount of venture capital investment into the sector (£100m) as well as the number of tech businesses (3,000) and jobs (35,000). The sector is worth £3bn in GVA to the local economy.
It also looks at the growing number of tech events, improved infrastructure and connectivity as well as emerging sub-sectors such as Fintech, clean energy tech and health, medical and ageing tech.
“These new sub-sectors are showing so much promise with such brilliant medi-tech companies like Biosignatures, QuantuMDx and Total Lab showing the way, while the National Innovation Centre for Ageing (NICA) is perfectly positioned to make the most of opportunities provided by the demographic revolution, said Laura Kemp, Cluster Manager at Dynamo.
“While in clean energy tech the collaboration with local universities and the co-operation between organisations led by the likes of The Tyne Subsea and The Offshore Renewable Catapult are the envy of other areas of the UK,” added Laura.
And while acknowledging the huge disruption of COVID-19, she was confident the sector will continue to play a growing part in the local economy and had a bright future: “Our sector and region is built on a ‘can do’ attitude, with innovation at the heart of everything we do. Yes, things are changing and will never be the same, but are in a good place and it is our firm belief that the sector will continue to thrive and grow.”
Dynamo North East is a business-led organisation with the core mission of ‘Growing the North East tech economy through collaboration, innovation, skills and noise.’ With more than 160 members, it is made up of IT organisations, large corporate employers in the region, consultants, technology hubs, education providers, local government and suppliers to the industry.