Tech sector adds £3 billion GVA to North East economy

May 13, 2020 @ 12:41 by Richard Dawson

North East tech organisations have collaborated on a new report that highlights the successes of the sector over the last 12 months.

Tech network Dynamo, support agency Generator and Sunderland Software City have updated One Region, One Sector, One Statement, which was published for the first time last year.

The 24-page statement includes contributions and insights from the North East LEP, Tech Nation, Gateshead Council, Invest North East, Tech North East, Digital Union and creative agency JUMP.

Hannah Matterston, the new CEO of Generator, said: “We wanted to produce a document that presented a broad, positive picture of the North East’s digital and tech sector.

“It demonstrates the wide range of great companies working in the sector, and its growing importance to the regional economy.

“We want those in education to show students of any age what amazing opportunities there are here, and we want new start-ups and job seekers to realise the breadth of what there is in the North East and the strength of our tech sector.

“We also want investors from around the UK to recognise we have a serious range of opportunities, and for people to realise how much we mean to the economy and the community.”

The statement was due to be launched at the North East Digital Festival, which was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It outlines the amount of amount of venture capital investment into the sector (£100m) as well as the number of tech businesses (3,000) and jobs (35,000).

The sector is now thought to be worth £3 billion in GVA to the local economy.

Jill McKinney, training and delivery manager at Sunderland Sotware City, explained: “The statement gives updates about the main developments in the sector throughout the past year.

“We were obviously delighted to see that the BBC has chosen to open its Tech Hub in the North East; in Middlesbrough we saw the announcement of Boho Next Generation, which will add to one of the most exciting digital campuses in the UK.

“Across the Tees Valley there has been the expansion of the DigitalCity initiative while on Wearside we had the launch of a Sunderland Software City-driven initiative, the North East Digital Festival, which we know will go from strength to strength.”

The statement also looks at the growing number of tech events, improved infrastructure and connectivity as well as emerging sub sectors such as fintech, clean energy tech and health, medical and ageing tech.

“These new sub-sectors are showing so much promise with such brilliant medi-tech companies like Biosignatures, QuantuMDx and Total Lab showing the way, while the National Innovation Centre for Ageing (NICA) is perfectly positioned to make the most of opportunities provided by the demographic revolution”, added Laura Kemp, cluster manager at Dynamo.

“Our sector and region is built on a ‘can do’ attitude, with innovation at the heart of everything we do,” she continued.

“Yes, things are changing and will never be the same, but we are in a good place and it is our firm belief that the sector will continue to thrive and grow.”

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