Dynamo’s November Advisory Board Meeting

Charlie Hoult kicked off this month’s meeting with a roundup of the North of Tyne bids in the pipeline.  The first Digital Ecosystem Support Call focuses on working in Clusters, lending itself perfectly to the great work already being done by Dynamo.  The second is the Talent Engine looking to address the ongoing challenge of ensuring that we have a supply of qualified people with the essential skills needed for the growth of the region’s tech sector.

Becky Strachan from Northumbria University then gave an update on IC3, outlining the vision and ambition for the project. With 79,000 people, that’s 7% of NE workforce, in the construction industry this is a key focus area for the region.  The International Centre for Connected Construction will look to improve connectedness and collaboration within the industry. With key areas such as safety, procuring for value ensuring long term value of buildings and infrastructure, reduction of costs and greenhouse gas emissions. Becky is looking for any Dynamo members who may be able to support the project in many areas so please get in touch if you think you can: mailto:rebecca.strachan@northumbria.ac.uk

Laura Kemp gave an overview from the Service Delivery Centre cluster. The application deadline for the Design Thinking Bootcamp, a fantastic opportunity for local SMEs to work with experts from Accenture and CGI focusing on systems automation, has been extended to 20th November. For more information and to sign up: https://bit.ly/3jgTqSn.  The cluster is also welcoming bookings for their first virtual careers fair, exhibiting booking here: https://bit.ly/3lcGRsU

Emma Whitenstall gave us a look at the upcoming events planned for the Health and Social Care Tech cluster over the next few months. November brings a cluster meeting working with the NHS on identifying their emerging challenges and unmet needs.  This will feed into a pitching session for SMEs to present innovative solutions to an expert panel in February next year. The second showcase event in collaboration with CGI will take place in January looking at Patient Experience using sentiment analysis through social listening.  And finally, the cluster will be joining forces with the North West HealthTec cluster in February in a joint networking event.

An update was provided on the new Innovation Hub project, headed up by Shaun Allan.  Shaun has been working on engagement with Universities, Colleges and local SMEs to plan live industry projects for students working with the support of PROTO.  Further details of The Dynamo Innovation Hub project will be announced via an online event in conjunction with the VRTGO network.

Cate Kalson of Oliver Wyman presented the North of Tyne application around the Talent Engine and asked the group: How can we position the North East as a ‘Talent Magnet’ that attracts not only graduates but also boomerangs/those mid-career?  A lively discussion took place focusing on how we can improve retention of graduates in the region when only 3% of adverts in the region are for entry level jobs/new grads. Are we doing enough to support them in the region? Only 25% of graduates stay in the region. Manchester retains around 50% and London 70%. What can we do to close that gap? Deni Chambers from Gateshead College agreed that the ‘skills gap’ will always exist if most jobs require 2-3 years’ experience. It is not an issue with grads and curriculum, but the gap between that and the employers.

Here at Dynamo we hope that the North of Tyne bid might go some way to tackle this.  Watch this space!

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