Tees business cluster DigitalCity drives £174m local tech economy
The digital economy in the Tees Valley is now worth £174m annually, according to research by the DigitalCity project. The project was set up in 2004 to "to create a vibrant, successful and self-sustaining supercluster based on the digital technologies, digital media and creative sectors". Its partners include Teesside University, which has a strong record in computing and digital studies, and has encouraged students to turn their skills into businesses. David Jeffries, Head of DigitalCity, said: "DigitalCity was created to capitalise on Teesside University's expertise in the technology sector 10 years ago by giving a framework of support for digital start-ups and entrepreneurs. Long before boot camps and accelerators were well-known DigitalCity fellowships gave enterprising graduates access to world-class mentors and facilities. DigitalCity companies are developing cutting-edge technologies used in medicine to save lives; they are creating independent games studios with an international reputation and supporting hundreds of jobs regionally." DigitalCity has purpose-built facilities both in the town centre at Boho One and at Teesside University with a region-wide network of new centres in development.
Pictured: Teesside University's Phoenix Building, home to DigitalCity Innovation
Universities shortlisted for IT strategy awards
Cardiff Metropolitan University; University of Derby; Loughborough University; North East Scotland Shared Data Centre (University of Aberdeen, Robert Gordon University and North East Scotland College); The Open University; and University of Stirling have been shortlisted for a Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Award in the category Departmental ICT Initiative of the Year. The University of Derby has seen its IT strategy shortlisted for a series of projects to improve IT support, maintenance and development, the university says. It has also improved the management of computer-related incidents and issues. The winners will be announced in June.
Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards: www.thelmawards.co.uk
Northern Ireland Executive launches pilot ICT apprenticeship scheme
Northern Ireland Employment and Learning Minister Stephen Farry has launched a pilot ICT Apprenticeship Scheme to recruit people in the North West area of the province into the sector. The scheme will see individuals recruited as apprentices and taking up various software development roles in companies in the North West. The successful applicants also attend an intensive "boot camp" to enhance their skills, confidence and productivity for their host companies. The pilot is based on the successful Belfast area Public/Private ICT Apprenticeship scheme, which has seen 74 apprentices employed in the local ICT industry throughout a number of private sector companies and the public sector. Participating companies include: CASI, Alleycats, 360 productions, Bluebox/NWE Wireless, Seagate, EV-U Solutions and the North West Regional College
North West ICT Apprenticeship scheme: www.nidirect.gov.uk/ictapprenticeships