Digital Minister Matt Hancock to be main speaker at Dynamo conference in Newcastle

Digital Minister Matt Hancock will be the keynote speaker at a major IT conference in Newcastle next month.

The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport will speak at the Dynamo conference, which is returning for its fifth event at Newcastle University’s urban sciences building on June 21.

Mr Hancock – whose brief as Culture Secretary includes the digital economy, and who was previously Digital Minister – will speak alongside Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes and science writer Timandra Harkness.

There will also be a panel discussing innovation and growth featuring Northumbria University pro vice-chancellor Steven Kyffin, Accenture managing director for UKI emerging tech Laetitia Cailleteau and Richard Waterhouse, chief executive of Newcastle building technology firm NBS.

Dynamo chair Charlie Hoult said: “Digital issues have seen a rapid rise up the national agenda, so it’s great recognition that Matt Hancock is coming to Dynamo 18. It is a central aim of Dynamo to ensure that our region’s strength is recognised in Westminster so that we can build momentum on the £87m in projects that we have initiated.

“It’s amazing to think that Dynamo 18 will be on the Helix site where Newcastle University is building the National Innovation Centre for Data. This is a hugely important initiative for our city region that started as a brainchild of Dynamo’s 2014 conference and was picked up by George Osborne’s Northern Powerhouse campaign – so it shows how our lobbying is working.”

This year’s Dynamo conference will have the theme ‘Region of the Future: Innovate. Learn. Grow.’

Topics that will be discussed will include the value of data, AI and robotics, the power of the regional digital cluster and professional advice for growing digital firms.

The conference is the main annual gathering of the Dynamo group, which exists to promote and grow the region’s digital and IT economy through lobbying for Government and other public support, and encouraging collaboration between its members.

The organisation is also working with Northumbria University on plans for a £40m centre that aims to put the North East at the head of global work to develop smart cities.

Plans for the IC3 project were launched at the House of Lords earlier this year.

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