A £10m digital programme aimed at boosting growth in the region’s tech economy will be launched officially next week.

North of Tyne Combined Authority’s (NTCA) Digital Growth and Innovation Programme includes significant investment to support start ups and unlock the potential of digital and tech businesses.

The programme will bring together the North of Tyne’s tech community including key regional partners such as Dynamo NE, Innovation Super Network, Ignite, Digital Catapult, TEDCO, Northumbria University, Invest Newcastle, National Innovation Centre for Data and the Academic Health Science Network. Together they will offer their knowledge and expertise to provide a programme of support available to a range of businesses, from starts up to well established successful businesses.

This pioneering approach will drive expansion of the tech sector in the North East.

The programme will be launched at The Core at Newcastle Helix on Wednesday, March 2 (8.30am – 11.30am) when North of Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll will deliver an opening address. Chris Philp MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Digital Infrastructure, will deliver a virtual address and will be followed by Rob Hamilton, Chief Economist at NTCA, who will introduce the programme. The event will also include a panel discussion of North East business leaders.

Mayor Driscoll said: “We all use smart phones and almost take them for granted. But how do we make the most of the digital economy? It means people having the right skills, start-ups having the right support and established companies growing and creating jobs.

“This is a great time to launch our Digital Programme. Our region already has one of the fastest growing tech sectors in the UK, we are building on this success.  We’re in a strong place in the North of Tyne and this programme is going to turbocharge us even further.”

Rob Hamilton added: “The Digital Growth and Innovation Programme is totally inclusive – it’s designed to help and work with micro businesses as well as large corporates.  We want to help empower companies, organisations and entrepreneurs that may not have embraced technology as best they can, but also to work with those are fully immersed and invested in tech.

“Our launch event will provide insight into how the programme will benefit them and how NTCA is nurturing and connecting talent.

“There is so much great work already happening in the North of Tyne tech and digital sector, and NTCA has backed its serious ambition with significant funding to enable growth and impact of the region’s digital ecosystem for the next three years and beyond.

“We’ll be working with key delivery partners to develop an ambitious, cohesive and compelling narrative, and identify opportunities for collaboration and co-ordination.  Together, we’ll create 1,000 jobs and work with more than 500 companies.”

After consulting with partners and businesses across the sector, NTCA identified several key enablers of a healthy tech economy including talent availability, a strong start-up scene and thriving community, inward investment success, focused support to innovate using tech and clear pathways and support for high growth potential businesses.

Rob added: “All of these enablers are addressed in this investment from NTCA and each project owns some of these aims and objectives – delivering bespoke activities– who is doing what and when and how this is going to make a difference.”

To sign-up to the NTCA’s Digital Growth and Innovation Programme launch event and find out how the programme can benefit you, go to the events section of Dynamo’s website at www.dynamonortheast.co.uk

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