Dynamo’s November Advisory Board Meeting

Andrew Besford, Tuesday 12th November 2019

Every month we hold the Dynamo Advisory Board meeting at a different member’s office. Yesterday, Orange Bus kindly hosted our November meeting at their base in Milburn House, in Newcastle city centre.

We welcomed Michael Brodie, the new CEO of NHS Business Services Authority, and James Hall, CEO of Orange Bus, to the Advisory Board.  It’s great to have senior leaders from all kinds of local organisations volunteer their time to contribute to Dynamo’s mission to grow the North East IT & tech economy. 

The purpose of the Advisory Board is to have a two-way conversation. Members can keep up-to-date with what Dynamo is up to and make sure their organisations are aware and contributing as much as possible. Board members also contribute their expertise to shape Dynamo’s activities, to make sure they get maximum impact for their own organisations and other members. It’s also a great way to keep in touch with each other.

This month we reviewed the 2019 Dynamites awards. As well as celebrating the success of our local superstars; events like the Dynamites are a key source of funding for Dynamo, which enables us to continue with our work. (Have you seen the photos from the night?)  We’re also planning the third edition of the successful Hotspot magazine.

Dynamo’s work on building clusters is at the heart of how we operate.  Each month we spend the bulk of the meeting discussing two clusters, so that we can go into more detail on the latest activity within those clusters. This month we focussed on Cyber Security and Data.

The Cyber Security updates covered the 10 recent #CyberFest events and previewed the upcoming Cyber 101 bootcamp, and the BSides event at Dynamix Skatepark. The team is working on an online marketplace to help cyber businesses to grow, and to help North East businesses to buy local. We are also looking to replicate LORCA (London Office for Rapid Cybersecurity Advancement) in the North East, which will support innovative new businesses.

We had an interesting discussion around Data. Although this is a broad and potentially complex area, we think this is fundamental and transformative. It’s also one of four immediate areas of priority in the North East’s Digital Strategy. We want the North East to be seen as a great place to ‘do data’, and discussed the role of Dynamo to help shape this. We talked about the fundamental things that the Dynamo network is best placed to facilitate, for example around the data maturity of businesses, and raising awareness of what they can do with their data. We also want to help local small data specialists work with larger organisations for their mutual benefit.

There’s a tour of the new National Innovation Centre for Data on 26th November in collaboration with Digital Union. This will offer some insight into the support that can be offered to businesses to make better use of their data.

One of our other clusters, looking at Digital Entertainment, is hosting an event at the Discovery Museum later this week to consider the ‘museum of the future’ and how tech and marketing businesses can build on the region’s strong cultural heritage. There are still spaces for anyone else who is keen to get involved.

Next month’s Advisory Board meeting is at North P&I, the global shipping insurer based on Newcastle’s Quayside. It’s conveniently located next door to the Pitcher & Piano, so we’re looking forward to having a Christmas drink afterwards!

 

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