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Business & Economy

New appointments strengthen Digital for Growth steering group

A panel overseeing the delivery of the region’s digital strategy has welcomed eight members.

The Digital for Growth steering group has appointed a cross section of highly-experienced representatives from business and education.

It also includes figures from the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, which is leading on the delivery of Digital for Growth.

Chairing the group is Stuart Lynn, founder of Tech North East and visiting professor of technology at the University of Sunderland.

He is joined by Richard Baker, head of strategy and policy at the North East Local Enterprise Partnership; Deni Chambers, assistant principal at Gateshead College; Pete Daykin, founder of WordNerds; and Herb Kim, chief executive of Thinking Digital Limited.

Also on the panel are David Goldman, visiting professor of enterprise and innovation at Newcastle University Business School; Laura Partridge and Michelle Rainbow, North East Local Enterprise Partnership digital programme lead and skills director, respectively; and Alison Shaw, professor of practice for success and progression at Newcastle University.

“The members of our new steering group form a fantastic team and, between them, have expertise which spans the breadth of tech, digital, business growth and education,” said Stuart.

Digital is identified in the North East Local Enterprise Partnership’s Strategic Economic Plan as one of four areas of significant importance.

Officials say that by working together as one region and actively supporting the Digital for Growth strategy, there is a great opportunity to collectively enhance the North East’s digital credentials, create more and better jobs, and increase regional prosperity.

The steering group will support four delivery groups that bring together partners to drive forward the priority themes in the strategy: infrastructure, workforce, enterprise and data.

The North East Digital for Growth strategy was unveiled in early October 2019 and through a collaborative approach aims to maximise opportunities for growth and investment in the North East economy.

Digital for Growth identifies priority areas where the North East Local Enterprise Partnership will work with partners to build on the region’s assets. These areas are data; infrastructure and connectivity; digital collaboration and enterprise; and workforce.

The strategy has been built around the needs of the region, whilst leveraging the UK’s Industrial Strategy, the region’s Strategic Economic Plan, and the Local Industry Strategy

Laura Partridge (pictured) added: “The success of Digital for Growth relies on the support of the entire North East digital and business community to make it a success.

“Within the strategy, we have built on the opportunities for the region identified in the North East Strategic Economic Plan and we’ve laid out a framework for maximising these opportunities and responding to challenges.

“Now is the time for us to align our digital assets and work together to take the region forward.”